Yesterday was quiet a different Monday. I was home sick, which meant I did not go in for work but also that, sadly, I did not go baking with Carla.
Baking with Carla does not really feel like a job. I always have so much fun and while she learns, I learn. The reason why I love working with kids (I should say “hang out” with kids) is that, despite the fact that sometimes they can REALLY be stressful, demanding, a pain in the … (oh yeah, let’s say it! but who’s not?! Grown ups are too! I am, for sure!), at the end of the day I always learn from them.
So, yesterday I was very sad for not seeing Carla and I cheered myself up by starting to write this post about what we baked last week. Last Monday was our first post-Thanksgiving baking and I thought it was a good idea to make something a bit “lighter”. I went for another Dorie Greenspan’s recipe, the Great Grains Muffins.
Another reason, though, pushed me to choose this recipe. I usually like having Carla to touch, smell, and taste different ingredients. It’s a great sensory experience for kids and grown ups should not forget to do so themselves (it’s a lot of fun!). It’s good for her to see that there are different type of flours, or flour substitutes and it’s also interesting for her (and me) to see that there might be ingredients that we do not like when they are raw or when tasted individually but that turn out great tasting when cooked or combined with others. When we did the pumpkin whoopie pies, for example, she smelled the pumpkin straight out of the can and she “eeeewwwwed” so badly that I was even unsure whether to go on and make those whoopie pies. As much as she disliked the smell of the pumpkin out of the can, she loved the whoopie pies. Another time the smelled and tasted the grounded ginger and she found that too pretty disgusting. I told her how sometimes there are ingredients that seem to have a strong taste but then you cannot single them out when the dish is cooked.
It’s all about trying out and experimenting, right? That’s what we do once per week. And last week experiment turned out great. We loved the muffins. They got an A from the three of us (Carla, her mom and me) and….I got to bring one home for the morning after (that's why the pictures are better than the usual pictures on "Baking with Carla" posts). I have to say, properly stored, the morning after the muffin was as good as fresh from the oven.
Great Grains Muffins
128 gr (4.5 oz or 1 cup) all-purpose flour
40 gr (1.4 oz or 1/3 cup) whole wheat flour
60 gr (2.1 oz or 1/3 cup) yellow cornmeal (I used white cornmeal)
30 gr (1 oz or 1/3 cup) old-fashioned oats
50 gr (1.78 oz or ¼ cup) sugar
10 gr (2 tsp) baking powder
2 gr (¼ tsp) baking soda
2 gr (¼ tsp) salt
240 ml (8 fl oz or 1 cup) buttermilk
113 gr (4 oz or 1/3 cup) maple syrup
113 gr (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
a few chopped nuts*
*we did not put the nuts in the batter but simply topped the muffins with them
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees and grease or insert liners into a 12 muffin pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, the cornmeal, the oats, the sugar, the baking powder, the baking soda and the salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, the maple syrup, the eggs, and the butter. Add the mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and top each muffin with two or three chunks of nuts.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are golden. Let the pan cool down for 5 minutes on a cooling rack before attempting to unmold the muffins.
Have a sweet day!
Source: Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From my Home to Yours