BreakFast in the TreeHouses 5 of 5

BreakFast in the TreeHouses
The Best of the Breakfasts!

Today: MUFFIN MAGIC

There is something Magical about Muffins!
Let’s face it! It’s Cake for Breakfast!
It’s Cake in individual size portions.
It’s Cake you wake up to!
It’s Cake you can eat fresh out of the oven!

There is also something that feels especially homemade about Muffins… perhaps it’s because unlike a Cake baked for an occasion, Muffins have a way of making an otherwise ordinary day feel like an occasion.

n.b.: This is the Fifth Post in a five-part series about BreakFasts I have cooked up at TreeHouse Point. The Good Folks at www.NelsonTreeHouse.com and I have switched today around and we are posting the final post in this series here below, with a lovely introduction to it at www.NelsonTreeHouse.com . The previous posts in the series may be viewed via the links below:

BreakFast in the TreeHouses 1 of 5: JOE MANGIELLO’S BIG ITALIAN SAUSAGE ROLL

BreakFast in the TreeHouses 2 of 5: EGG BAKES

BreakFast in the TreeHouses 3 of 5: PUFF PASTRY TRIANGLES

BreakFast in the TreeHouses 4 of 5: COOKIES COOKIES COOKIES

My partner, DAMON, is the Manager at Tree House Point, and I occasionally find myself working in the Kitchen there. I Love It! And I Love Him! (And not in that order!)

Now, back to Muffins…

Here are three of My Favorites:

ZUCCHINI BIKINIS

I posted these once before.
They are So Good, and So Healthy!
Made with Zucchini, Oats, Ground Flax Seed, and sweetened only with Honey.
The dried Cranberries and the White Chocolate Chips add just a little bit of Naughty, hence the “Bikinis” part of the title. But, as MAMA always says, “A Little Bit is O.K.”

Please note that the Recipe Directions, found on this site, and also above, http://creativetryals.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html , do not say to add in the White Chocolate Chips, so you need to remember that on your own.
How Naughty are you?
I remembered them every time!

MA RAINEY’s BLACK BOTTOM MUFFINS
(Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins)
(The title is a little tribute to the Late Great AUGUST WILSON whose play, MA RAINEY’s BLACK BOTTOM, is part of his American Century Cycle.)

YUM!
Crazy YUM!

I like to serve these for Breakfast — in case anyone likes some Chocolaty Goodness first thing in the Morning — but they are Great served as Cupcakes, as well!

The Chocolate Batter

The Cream Cheese Filling

The vinegar in the chocolate batter contrasts the sweetness of the Cream Cheese Filling, and its acidity reacts with the Baking Soda to create the Carbon Dioxide Bubbles that lift the Muffin Batter to a Magic Cloud of Happy Chocolate WonderLand!
http://www.recipesecrets.net/blog/recipes/copycat-starbucks-black-bottom-cupcakes/
My Secret: I double the amount of Cream Cheese Filling!
It follows the concept of more Cream Cheese Frosting than Cake,
Or Cake as merely a vehicle for Frosting!
I also substitute Semi-Sweet Mini-Chocolate Chips for the Regular-Size Milk Chocolate Chips.
I prefer the Dark Chocolate to contrast and thus highlight the Sweetness of the Cream Cheese Frosting, anyway,
But this is one of those rare cases in which Size Matters.
The mini-chips here add just the right amount of chocolate without interrupting the Cream Cheese Filling…
I usually make them as both regular size Muffins and Mini-Muffins.
However you decide to do it, these are Crazy Decadent!

MA RAINEY’s BLACK BOTTOM, of course, refers to the celebrated “Black Bottom Dance,” made famous by GERTRUDE “MA” RAINEY, the Mother of the Blues, one of the earliest African American professional Blues Singers to record. AUGUST WILSON’s profound and Beautiful Play is about one of these Recording Sessions.

DUSTY SPRINGFIELDs*
(ButterScotch Peach Muffins)
We had a Bag of Butterscotch Chips in the pantry.
So I figured I would make a Peach Muffin and add ‘em in!
Good Figurin’!
I trust the recipes of INA GARTEN, another Phenomenal Woman!

That touch of Lemon Zest makes all the difference!

So I adapted the Batter from her BlueBerry Muffins.
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/blueberry-muffins-recipe-2107533
I omitted the two cups of BlueBerries, and I added in Four Cups of Chopped Peaches.
Then, I added in the entire bag of Butterscotch Chips.
If I had to do it over again, I might try a streusel topping, as well. (I know. I am a bit of a Lily-Gilder!)
Oh, and if you don’t have Fresh Peaches, Frozen Peaches work just fine in this recipe! Generally speaking, the Frozen Fruit you find at the SuperMarket nowadays is better than it was years ago, although, given the choice, I am a Big Fan of the Sweetness of Now The Sweetness of Now !

On their way into the Oven

On their way out of the Oven

These were a Surprisingly Big Hit.

I tried variations without the ButterScotch Chips,
adding Fresh BlueBerries or sliced StrawBerries
to combine with the Chopped Peaches.
Fruit Jewels bringing Sparkle to Pacific NorthWest Mornings…

On their way out of the Oven

On their way into the Oven

The Frozen Berries, in this case, were not as Sweet as I had hoped they would be.
A Wedding was underway and the Caterer was about to come in and take over the Kitchen.
I asked DAMON, “Do you think I have ten minutes to whip up some Cream Cheese Glaze?”
C’mon! What can not be made Better-Tasting by Cream Cheese Frosting!? (I mean, other than a ham & pineapple pizza!?)
DAMON told me, “If it’s ten minutes, then Yes! If it’s half an hour, then No. The Wedding Caterer is on the way.”

Cream Cheese Glaze — in only ten minutes!

MARTHA STEWART — Another Phenomenal Woman! — to the Rescue!

Cream Cheese Glaze… Done!

http://www.marthastewart.com/868323/cream-cheese-glaze
I doubled the Recipe, of course.
I Always Double the Frosting!
Always!
Done in ten minutes!
And Just the Fix!
I titled these “SNOWCAP SUMMERs,” reminding us of Summer’s Abundance here in the Pacific NorthWest, as the SnowCapped Mountains surround us.

* As for my Butterscotch Peach Muffins, I had originally named these “PEACHY KEENS.”
Then I called them “STONEFRUIT SWEETIES.”
But after all this baking, I went to workout and I was listening to DUSTY SPRINGFIELD. She was Somethin’!

And I began to think about how, working in Show Business (my day job, when I’m not making Muffins), I see So Many Great Talents who don’t make it.
And occasionally, one of those odd ducks becomes Famous, and everybody hears of that person!
I imagine that it was the same way in the Sixties — DUSTY SPRINGFIELD became Famous. LULU became Famous. SHIRLEY BASSEY, ARETHA FRANKLIN, CONNIE FRANCIS… But surely there were others we never heard of who were just as Talented as these Extraordinary Women… What makes one person Famous and Another Not? I have often pondered this!
A friend of mine years ago would say, “There is no Justice! Have a Knish!”

And here are these Delicious Inventions…
So I named them “DUSTY SPRINGFIELDs” in honor of DUSTY and all those who become Famous doing what they Love!
But also in honor of all those Talented People unrecognized…
Who still Do what they Love!
Fame is fleeting!
And whether or not it is, or has been a part of your Journey, Celebrate your Talents!
Celebrate all that You Do!
And Keep on Doing It!
Like Baking…
Do it simply for the JOY of Doing It!
Enjoy a Bright and Delicious Peach Butterscotch DUSTY SPRINGFIELD!

DUTY SPRINGFIELDs & SNOWCAP SUMMERS, served on the BreakFast Buffet

Part of the Fun of the Tree House Point Kitchen is the Creative Freedom to be Inspired by the People, the Surroundings and, of course, the TreeHouses!

A Word about some of the Remarkable People you meet along the Way.…
Over the past few years, since I have been involved, there have been these Phenomenal Women , both Past and Present:
JANET was running the entire Kitchen Adventure by herself when I arrived, and delighting guests by homebaking Scones from scratch, while toasting up pans of homemade Granola!
SUSAN joined in and added Mirth and Laughter and Bread Puddings!
MURIEL would Create a variety of Cookie Doughs and concoctions of Bread and Eggs using the same verve with which she Creates her Paintings!
BIRD showed up with enough Warmth to Light the Oven without ever turning it on! Then she brought us her signature Egg Bake!
MEGAN brought in some Fancy Chef-ness and Merriment!
FARA brought her own fancy Chef-ness and her delightful Laughter!
… And of course it was JUDY NELSON, herself, who started the Tree House Point Kitchen, and developed some of the recipes still served there every day!
I am indebted to every one of these Phenomenal Women for all of the many tips and inspirations and all of the Laughter we have shared and Dirty Dishes we have washed together… and to INA and MARTHA and DUSTY and MA RAINEY and SUE (and CHEF TOM Too!), and most of all, my MOM!
One of the Amazing things about Cooking and Recipes and Contributing what you know, have Learned, and Discovered, is that you Live On in those Contributions you make; all of the ways that you do things in the kitchen — they become a part of other people’s lives and their ways of doing things, and that lives on for Generations…
I am so Grateful to each of these Creative Kitchen Sorceresses for their Culinary Wizardry and Collective Magic!

Peeking into the Oven…

When I make Muffins, I make large batches (Doubling — Sometimes Tripling — Recipes), and after they’ve cooled, I freeze them on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, overnight.
Then, once they have been frozen, I store them in zipper lock bags in the freezer, and take them out when I am ready to serve them.
I bring them to room temperature, or sometimes, warm them up slightly in the oven (for that just-baked feeling)…
In this way, you get to have an assortment of fresh-baked muffins ready for an early morning Breakfast.

I tend to make way too much!
There is an Italian Expression: “Abbondanza”

That is the aesthetic that compels me to double the fruit and double the frosting and triple the batches… “Abbondanza!”

Copiousness…
Plenty…
Plenteousness…
Bounty…
Bountifulness…
Abbondanza!
Joy!

A Joyful Morning is a Great Start to the Day!

And if it feels like too much, to that I say, “De Nada

YUM!

Celebrate your Act of Love!

# # #

Leave a comment

3 Comments

  1. dsbishop

     /  June 3, 2017

    Yay, double frosting! And what a beautiful tribute to the ladies of the kitchen: Judy, Janet, Bird, Fara, Megan, Muriel, and Susan. Here’s to Marvelous Muffin-filled Mornings! Great post, Arnold!

    Reply
  2. I need to eat all these! We love you miracle muffin man!

    Reply

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