Friday, May 24, 2013

Flashback Friday: Muffin Ring

Flashback Friday: Revisiting a recipe from long ago

The instant I flipped this muffin ring out of the pan I thought, "wow, that looks like it's straight out of a 70's cookbook."  And then I remembered it was.  Don't ask me why I thought it would look any different.  The ring mold is a big factor, but the cherry halves and pecans really seal the deal.  Only a lime gelatin mold would scream 70's with more gusto.

I found this recipe in the same cookbook I told you about last week. The title Butterscotch Muffin Ring caught my attention.  What, a ring of muffins?  So it's like muffin monkey bread?  Or a giant doughnut?  Yeah, no.  Coffee cake would be a better description, although it's not cake and doesn't contain coffee.  But you can eat a slice with coffee if you want.  And since we're calling it a muffin ring, it's perfectly acceptable for breakfast.  Have I lost you yet?  Because my train of thought is jumping quite rapidly.

So I don't know the proper title of this recipe any more than I know how to describe my relation to its author.  Karen is my dad's cousin.  Which would make her my....I don't know something cousin once removed?  Anyway, I spotted her recipe in my grandma's cookbook and decided to give it a go.  Thankfully I saw her at my grandma's 80th birthday party and asked a few questions about the recipe.  She gladly reminisced over her recipe and told me all the changes she's made since she first made it for 4-H.   For some crazy reason I was sure I'd remember all her changes by the time I got back to the kitchen.  Nope, should have written them down.  I implemented the updates I could remember and left the rest as found in my grandma's cookbook. These days Karen also uses part baking powder and part baking soda, maybe buttermilk and less sugar.  I'll have to ask her at next time I see her, which won't be until Christmas.

A buttery brown sugar topping is poured into a ring mold and garnished with pecans and maraschino cherries.  Spoonfuls of sweet muffin batter cover this caramelly sauce.  After 20 minutes in the oven just invert the mold on your serving plate for a sweet and simple coffee cake, or shall we say, muffin ring.  Try adding almond extract or a cinnamon for a little extra flair.  And don't be surprised if your ring looks like it came straight out of a 70's cookbook.

Muffin Ring
recipe barely adapted from my dad's cousin, Karen

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 pecan halves
6 maraschino cherries, halved
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil

* Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 4 to 5-cup capacity ring mold.  Melt butter and brown sugar and pour into mold.  Arrange pecans and cherries up-side-down in the butter-sugar mixture, remembering you will invert the ring to serve.
* In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  In a small bowl combine the egg, milk and oil.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  Stir just until moistened.
*Spoon batter into mold, placing evenly around the ring. Bake 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool 3-5 minutes before inverting mold onto serving plate.  Unmold and serve warm.

Food for Thought: "Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night." -Thomas Fuller (a quote printed in the cookbook mentioned above)

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