You have to admire a recipe that calls for a cup and a half of maple syrup.
That's got a lot of balls.
So I was pretty impressed when I saw the Maple Muffin recipe in Sarabeth's Bakery.
That recipe also calls for 12 tablespoons of butter to make a dozen muffins.
That's 1 tablespoon of butter in each muffin.
Clearly the woman loves her butter.
And hey, I like my butter, too. But sometimes not with quite so much abandon.
But these muffins are so good that sometimes it's worth a splurge.
Then again, sometimes you just want a little less over-the-top richness.
You know what? You can have your muffin and eat it too.
Feeling sinful? Use 12 tablespoons of butter.
Feeling modest on the dairy front? Use 8.
Then put some more butter on top.
Because you can.
Modified from Sarabeth's Bakery, by Sarabeth Levine.
2 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups maple syrup*
8 to 12 tablespoons (1 to 1 1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature.
* Do use proper maple syrup and not maple flavored product - Jammy Chicken does not condone the use of faux foods manufactured in chemical plants, despite her New Jersey upbringing.
Preheat your oven to 400 F and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray or your favorite way of greasing a baking pan. Or, use paper liners and spray the top of the pan so muffin overspill doesn't stick. Your call.
I usually give my flour a little fluff with a fork before measuring. However, this is the wrong thing to do here. Gently spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off. No extra fluffing.
Whisk the white and whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt together in a big bowl. You will be adding the liquid ingredients to this later, so you'll want some room to stir.
Mix the maple syrup, melted butter and milk together in a bowl, then add in the egg and yolk and whisk until combined. The maple + milk + egg + melted butter turns into an interestingly textured slurry that does not inspire much confidence in the final outcome.
Do not worry, press forward with confidence. I wouldn't steer you wrong. But you're not gonna see any photos of this stage.
Add the maple syrup slurry to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. There will be some lumps, and that's just fine.
It will look like a bit of a sloppy mess because, in fact, it is a sloppy mess. If you are a gentle and cheerful of spirit, you will think to yourself, 'Gosh, how will this ever work out ?' and maybe sigh a little quiet sigh of resignation. If you are Jersey, you will think to yourself 'Why the f@ck did I just waste all this maple syrup?'.
Take solace in the amazing smell of pure maple goodness wafting up from the bowl, and let the batter rest for at least 5 minutes, but 10 is even better. The flour will start to absorb all that liquid sloshing around and it will come to resemble the texture of muffin batter we all know and love.
Scoop the batter evenly into 12 muffin cups - each will be about 2/3 full.
Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 (don't open that oven door! don't do it!) and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the muffins are burnished brown and a cake tester comes out clean (mine took 22-23 minutes total).
Cool them in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then cool completely on a rack.They are fragile, but very very tasty, when warm.