Monday, April 14, 2008

midnight muffins

I scratched out a recipe for these while resting this evening. The lemon curd is not very prominent (it probably helps that the homemade curd I have on hand is on the thin side), it adds just a touch of lemony creaminess in the center of the muffins, and could probably be doubled for stronger lemon flavor. Another variation would cut the butter in half, and/or replace it with vegetable oil, and/or replace the half and half with low fat milk, but I wouldn't recommend any of those things-the richness good in these too. The muffins are delicious and would be a fabulous addition to any brunch.

midnight muffins

2 cups ap flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large eggs
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup crystalized ginger
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1/2-1 vanilla bean, scraped)
4-6 tablespoons lemon curd

Preheat the oven to 400. Line (do not try to grease instead, results will be sticky and bad) muffin pans.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger together in a large bowl. In a second bowl, beat up the eggs. Add the half and half, butter and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly combined. Using a food processor or blender (I used my magic bullet again), pulse the crystalized ginger and sugar together until a uniform powder develops. Whisk into wet ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, using two additions, and stirring only until combined (do not over beat!). Fill twelve muffin cups halfway. Add a heaping teaspoon of lemon curd to each muffin cup. Top cups with remaining batter. Bake for approximately fifteen minutes, or until an inserted toothpick emerges cleanly.

Yields twelve muffins.

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