04 August, 2008

Baking is my nemesis

Baking is my nemesis.
It is an evil, cruel dictator that refuses to grant me entrance into its court. It is the last bastion of the castle of culinary arts.
It has thwarted me time and again. I cannot count how many of my attempts have ended up more like adobe brick than fluffy goodness. I have yet to be able to make much more than a simple corn bread.
I have always wanted to be able to bake because nothing is better than fresh baked bread. My step mom was a huge bitch but my memories of her are nonetheless sweetened by the cinnamon rolls she used to make.
So, to balance out all the geekiness in which I am submerging myself, I have the guitar on one side, and I have decided that baking will be on the other. I mean the failures are still pretty cheap. Flour and eggs and baking soda or yeast. I can afford failures.
But before I jump into breads, I thought I would spar with muffins. Thus, armed with an old episode of Good Eats, I decided to try my hand with a recipe I devised.
I had accidentally gotten a can of pumpkin pie filling instead of just pumpkin. I also had some bananas that were looking at me the wrong way. They needed a good mashing. I suppose I am the only one that talks shit to my potatoes or bananas when I mash them, but you should try it. It is very empowering. You should hear how quiet the produce aisle gets when I walk in the store.
  • 4 cups baking mix
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 15 oz (vol) pumpkin pie mix
  • 15 oz (about 3 large) mashed very ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
Using the muffin method, I mixed all the dry together in one bowl and all the wet together in another, and then I introduced the wet to the dry, mixing just until moist. Then I filled some greased muffin tins 3/4 of the way full and sprinkled a simple streusel on top. I baked them for about 16 minutes at 400 degrees. It made 24.
Holy hell they are good. The oven will learn who is boss, if it is the last thing I do.
I was gonna share them with my downstairs neighbor lady, Cheryl, and her son, but though the taste is great, the texture is a bit off. She is a nice lady, so I’ll have to figure something else out.

The other day we were talking about some of the nice parks in Alabama and other things to see and the next morning I found a little goodie bag outside my door. It had a few state park brochures and some printouts about the botanical garden (with a bonsai club!) here in Huntsville. It had a little apple in it so it wouldn’t blow away and she had drawn a smiley face on the outside. It was a very sweet gesture and made me happy to be back down south.
Yeah, she was so wet when she met me. Of course, that is because I met her at the pool, ya perves. ;cP
hidden hit counterEDIT: Streusel topping:
  • 3 tbsp baking mix
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp butter, firm
Mix dry ingredients well and then cut in butter until gets crumbly. I make it first and then set it in the freezer so it is very hard when I want to crumble it onto the muffins.

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