Archive for the ‘muffins’ Category

Law School Exam Muffins, or Humbly Grateful Muffins

December 15, 2010

Law exams are officially underway and I have learned two important life lessons.  I kicked off my crunch time exam period in Roseburg with Josie.  She vowed to take the best care of me while my housemate took care of the pets in Portland.  For those of you who have kept up with the blog, you know that Josie’s care includes really good homemade food and as much TLC as one could want.  Josie stayed up late with me beginning Friday night.  We started with a review of torts.  By the end of the night, she knew enough torts to correctly identify issues in a practice test.  She could recite all the elements of negligence and could distinguish the intentional torts from one another.  She then sat patiently all day Saturday with me so that I could teach contracts.  Throughout the day I got the most plush services— fresh bagels from the local shop, homemade hot chocolate with peppermint fudge, a pedicure, and lunch delivered up to me on toasted Kaiser rolls.  By the end of the night, Josie was able to correctly answer multiple choice questions from a past contracts exam (and she had finished making a Christmas present for her dad).  She effectively learned a semester’s worth of material for two subjects (enough to pass a real exam) in 36 hours.  She’s quite the exceptional student, I assure you.  On Sunday, I was able to leave with the confidence I needed to face these exams.  If I could teach the concepts to a non-law student, certainly I could tackle a silly exam.  It also helped that I had a batch of homemade cookies on the passenger seat.  Thus, I felt like the luckiest and most well-prepared student to ever live as I began the three-hour drive back to Portland.  Life Lesson #1: Remain humble.  Upon reaching my house in Portland, I realized I had missed a call from Josie about an hour and half into the journey home.  As it turns out, I left my binder with all of my carefully written outlines and flow charts in Roseburg. Note: my open-note contracts exam was only 14 hours away.  F*&#.  Who does that?  So, after allowing myself ample time for a small breakdown, I had some dinner (not nearly as good as the food Josie makes).  My partner interrupted his own study time so he could drive me to dinner and to campus while I cried and bemoaned the circumstances. Then Josie successfully scanned each and every page of my contracts materials for me and emailed them to me.  This would have been a perfect solution had the school computer lab not closed at 7:00 and had my printer at home not been out of ink.  Never fear, one of my best study buddies, promised to print my outline for me and bring it to the exam.  Life Lesson #2: Be grateful for modern technology and even more so for the relationships you’ve cultivated.  By 9:00 PM, I was able to redraw my diagrams and charts from the scanned copies provided to me, and the world was right again.  For the multitude of well-wishes in the form of emails, text messages, phone calls, Facebook notes, and silent thoughts, I am humbly grateful.  These muffins are for the world’s best cheerleaders.

–Little Ms. Muffin

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

 

For the crust

1 small bag of ginger snaps (about 1 ½ cups)
¼ cup sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted

For the muffins

15 oz of pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

For the filling

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
5 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp vanilla

1)      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2)      Prepare the crust by crushing the ginger snaps and mixing in the sugar and butter

3)      Mash the crust in the bottom of cupcake liners, or line a muffin tin with greased parchment paper disks (cut to muffin cup size).

4)      Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven.

5)      Prepare the pumpkin mixture by mixing all the ingredients in a large bowl (pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, spices, baking soda, baking powder, salt, eggs, and butter).

6)      In a separate bowl, use a hand-mixer on medium to mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Then, beat in the egg yolk.

7)      Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the ginger-snap crust, approximately ¾ of the way to the top of the cooled muffin cups (if they are still hot, wait until the muffin tin is to room temperature).  If you did not use liners, be sure to thoroughly grease the sides of the muffin tin, or line them with greased parchment paper.

8)      Using a tablespoon, add a dollop of the cream cheese mixture to each muffin cup.  Use a toothpick or skewer to swirl the cream cheese mixture.

9)      Bake for 25 minutes.

 

Law School Final Exam Preparation Muffins

December 7, 2010

Let me describe what law school looks like by the first week in December: Some folks are beginning to feel sickly, and their pockets are stuffed with crumpled tissues.  More than a few students are walking a little like defeated zombies, complete with tired raccoon-ringed eyes. Male students who started out with five-o’clock shadows have ended up looking like Paul Bunyan.  (Surely, many women students have forgone shaving, as well, but it is harder to tell in the winter.)  We’re grateful to have sufficient pairs of panties to go without worrying about laundry for a little longer.  The library looks like a disaster relief center.  Coffee has become liquid gold.  Facebook has a flurry of status updates reflecting the sheer misery of practice tests and outlining.  So how did we arrive at such a place?  We’re told that we’re the crème de la crème; we’re future leaders of a “very noble profession;” we follow in the footsteps of many greats.  Let’s re-cap: first year students have four testable subjects, plus a legal writing and research course.  Constitutional law has kicked my tuchus all semester.  I am determined to prove that I can master the holdings of these cases if I have to read every supplementary guide in the library.  Torts cases involve a lot of very entertaining situations with overflowing latrines and fireworks in unmarked packages.  At some point we definitely discussed a case in which a consumer discovered that a rat had negligently been baked into a loaf of bread.  The final outlining process for the exam in this class, however, sucks mothballs.  My outline is about twenty pages of exceptions; by the time I take the exam, I will have them all memorized. Contracts was surprisingly fascinating, and I was grateful for a professor who would say things such as, “Maybe you wanted to buy one of those hippy cars with a rainbow painted on it.” Nevertheless, the multiple choice questions are tricky pixies, and I am a little bit afraid.  Civil Procedure rules us.  (Insert ba-dum-ching, here.)  For those non-law students joining me, the reading period before exams is about as pleasant as scraping dried oatmeal off yesterday’s breakfast dishes.  We’re told by the wiser upper-classmen to avoid campus as much as possible.  My summary judgment: the end is near, and I’m fighting the temptation to shout, “Bring out your [law school] dead.”  It gives me hope, however, to know that my law school claims a very high retention rate, and I know a good handful of upper-level students who have survived.  Amanda, Lora, and Alex—these are for you.

Butter Rum Muffins (Vegan)

½ cup sugar
1 ¾ cups flour
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup soy milk
¼ cup softened vegan “butter”
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
dash of allspice
2 tbsp spiced rum

1)      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, grease the muffin tin.

2)      Beat together the softened butter and the brown sugar and regular sugar.

3)      Add the milk, egg, rum, baking powder, salt, and the spices, stirring until thoroughly combined.

4)      Fill the muffin cups ¾ of the way to the rim and bake for 20 minutes.

**For a non-vegan option, try adding an egg and ¼ of a cup sugar, real butter rather than vegan butter, and regular milk instead of soy.

 

Civil Procedure Muffins

November 28, 2010

I hope you all enjoyed a happy Thanksgiving.  I made my first turkey feast this year, complete with sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, Swiss string beans with homemade dressing, homemade sour-cream rolls, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cheesecake.  Then, there were these muffins.  They were inspired by my Civil Procedure professor.  The man is known on campus for his very chic haircut and dapper disposition in class.  He also wears amazing ties.  Yes, Professor, your students have noticed the little seasonal images and colorful stripes you sport every Tuesday and Thursday.  Should you read this blog some day, please feel encouraged—definitely do not stop wearing your lovely ties.  Attending class is stirred just as much by my need to know what the tie report is as my zest for legal learning.  In any case, somewhere between an explanation of summary judgment and directed verdicts, our professor mentioned that he ate sweet potato date muffins for breakfast.  The class went hay-wire.  Thus, as we exited the room, I had two thoughts: 1) People are not guaranteed an error-free trial, according to Federal Civil Rule 61 and, more importantly, 2) I wanted to make sweet potato date muffins. It was not until I began roasting the sweet potatoes that I remembered that I’ve  disliked the flavor in the past, immensely.  Nevertheless, these muffins have made me a fan.  In honor of Federal Civil Rules 1-61 (and in hope that we’ll cover 62-83 eventually), and for my law school compatriots who suffer under the strain of upcoming exams—these muffins are for you. –Little Ms. Muffin


Sweet Potato Date Muffins


1/2 pound sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup dried pitted dates, sliced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces (reserve some dates sliced in half for a topping, if desired)

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Stick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and wrap them in foil. Roast them in a pan for an hour. Remove the pan from the oven, allow the potatoes to cool, remove the foil and the skins, and mush them in a small bowl.

2. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the muffin tin.

3. Cream the butter, brown sugar, and regular sugar in a large bowl.  Add the egg and mix thoroughly, followed by the buttermilk, yogurt, and vanilla.

4. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice.

5. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients, until just smooth. Gently fold in the sweet potatoes and the dates.  Add a date sliced in half to the top of each muffin, if desired.

6.  Fill the muffin cups about ¾ of the way full and bake for 35 minutes.

Shanghaied Muffins

November 16, 2010

This weekend I had the opportunity to tour a small bit of the Portland underground—a labyrinth of tunnels running under the city.  These tunnels were used as secret hideouts for opium dens, torture chambers for sex slaves, and avenues of human trafficking.  Drunkards were frequently stolen from saloons and shuttled underground, often drugged, and brought to sea where they’d be forced to work for years as ship crew.  Sometimes men were dropped right through the floor of saloons above, by the pull of a bar-attendant’s lever.  These sorry shanghaied individuals were unlikely to escape; there were a number of ways for traffickers to hold them captive, including stealing their shoes and sprinkling a thick layer of broken glass along the exit route. There are numerous ghost tales that go along with these tunnels, but I did not encounter any creepies.  Most importantly, this activity made my contracts practice test far more palatable. Offer, acceptance, and the statute of frauds are a lot easier to handle after such an outing.  I “raise” these muffins in honor of Portland’s shanghaied.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Chocolate Chocolate Chip

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1)    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and thoroughly grease a muffin tin (and I mean, really grease it, or the muffins will get stuck).

2)    In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and whisk together.

3)    In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, butter, yogurt, and vanilla.  Pour these ingredients into the large bowl and mix until just combined.

4)    Fold in the chocolate chips being careful not to over-mix the batter.

5)    Distribute the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.  Let them cool before removing.

Can I get a “What what?” Muffins

October 31, 2010

I have hit that critical point in law school when students begin asking themselves, “Why the hell did I sign up for this?”  Let’s be clear: it is a self-chosen path.  However, there are high stakes (read: a single end-of-semester exam in each class, graded on a 3.0 curve).  At the half-way mark, people begin to get a little stressed out.  By this, I mean that breakdowns become more regular, and some of us cry in the shower.  Others dance themselves into oblivion at Student Bar Association Halloween Parties, which is great entertainment for the criers.  In either case, there is no more denial.  We can only hope that we are learning what we are supposed to have learned.   In the meanwhile, I try to get my jollies wherever I can.  This week, I attended a public interest karaoke fundraiser.  I had the delight of watching my Torts professor (attempt to) rap Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A…”  This would have sufficed as glorious entertainment all on its own. However, being me, and being a little punchy from a long week, I felt compelled to open Thursday’s class with, “Can I get a what what?”  The professor didn’t hear my remark, and he earnestly replied, “Can I what?”  To this, I was forced to respond, matter-of-factly, “Get a what what.”  Yes, it has really come to this.  It was one of those moments in which words have run amok without my mouth’s permission.  So, for now, I’m going to stick a muffin in it.  Enjoy.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Two-Tone Muffins

1 cup milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of one orange
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup slivered almonds

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two muffin tins.
2) In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and butter.
3) In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Mix it well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a hand-mixer on low until there are no lumps.
4) Fold in the orange zest.
5) Separate half of the batter and add the cocoa powder.  Plop one tablespoon of the white batter into one side of each muffin cups.  Then, plop one tablespoon of the cocoa-ed batter into the other half of each muffin cup.
6) Sprinkle the slivered almonds over each muffin and bake for 18-20 minutes.  Allow muffins to cool before removing.

Don’t Mock the Dead Muffins

October 25, 2010

In 2006, I spent a semester abroad en la belle France.  The French really love a good fete—there is a national celebration (and time off work) for almost anything short of winged monkeys on pogo sticks.  So, it seems un peu bizarre that Halloween never caught on.  It was more surprising that ma mere d’accueil, my host mother, had a vehement opinion about the holiday that does not receive even the proverbial tip of one’s hat.  She informed me that Halloween mocks the dead.  Trying to convince her otherwise was futile.  Ghost costumes, no matter how cute, truly insulted her sensibilities.  Therefore, I thought of her fondly as I made my way through “Terror in the Country,” in Warren, Oregon.  Indeed, I am one of “those” folks who remains ever-so-willing to shell out some dough to test bladder control in a non-clinical environment.   (So far, so good, in case you were wondering.)   In this particular haunted house, there was a room covered with dolls smeared in red paint.  I am inclined to say that this room definitely would have upset my host mom.  However, there was also a mime.  Yes, a very creepy wide-eyed mime who tailed guests through the room.  I imagine that his presence would be particularly offensive.  A ghoulish mime is not only a mockery of the dead, but a mockery of the dead with a subtle French twist.   But regardless of how you feel about Halloween, I have a muffin recipe to die for (har har, ::cough::).

–Little Ms. Muffin

Cream-Cheese Filled Pumpkin with Sugar Crumble

Filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioners’ sugar

Muffin Body:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½  tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup melted butter

Topping:
¼ cup sugar
2 ½ tbsp flour
¾  tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1) Make the filling first by creaming the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar.  Roll the creamed lump into a 1-2 inch thick rope, and then wrap it in plastic wrap.  Then add a layer of aluminum foil and put the rope in the freezer until firm (allow at least two hours).

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3) In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, and melted butter.  Mix them until there are no lumps (a handmixer is helpful, but not necessary for this step).

4) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

5) Put together the muffin topping by combining the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Whisk these ingredients together.  Chop the butter into small pieces and drop them into the sugar mixture.  Use a fork to cut the butter into the sugar until there are pea-sized lumps.

6) Remove the cream cheese and sugar log from the freezer and cut it into twelve slices.  Fill each muffin cup with a tablespoon of muffin batter.  Plop a cream cheese slice in each muffin cup.  Then, add another tablespoon of muffin batter to each muffin cup (to cover the cream cheese slice).

7) Sprinkle the crumbly topping over each muffin cup. Bake the muffins for 23 minutes.

8 ) Let the muffins cool before eating (the filling gets extremely hot).  Refrigerate when they are cool.

**Recipe adapted from annies-eats.com/2010/10/08/pumpkin-cream-cheese-muffins/

“I’ll Have What She’s Having” Muffins

October 20, 2010

I am having an affair with Portland dining.  Every time Josie comes for a visit, which she did unexpectedly this weekend, I have multiple food orgasms. By this I mean head-thrown-back, makes-you-moan, absolute food ecstasy.  No Meg Ryan faking here.  (Sorry, mom, after writing about the inner workings of Viagra for the student paper as an undergrad, I figure you’re already immune to my raunchy word choices.)   After meeting a friend for hot chocolate, Josie and I stumbled upon the 23rd annual apple-tasting festival.  A local nursery hosted the event. Vendors galore were eager to share their apple-related products—caramel, cheese melts, salsa, dip, butter, cider, strudel…It was absolutely incredible.  If it has been a while since you yourself had a food-gasm, light a candle and eat one of these hot out of the oven.  Just don’t disturb your housemate with too much noise.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Apple Strudel Muffins

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups farm-fresh apples (peeled and cored)

Topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. butter

1)      Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a muffin tin.

2)      In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Peel, core, and dice the apples and set them aside.

3)      In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Thoroughly mix in the egg and the vanilla.

4)      Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Mix until the batter is not lumpy.  Add the sour cream, until it is incorporated well.  Gently stir in the diced apples.

5)      Fill the muffin cups to the rim.  In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour.  Cut in the butter until there are pea-sized lumps.  Sprinkle the topping over the muffins.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the muffins from the pan as soon as they are cool enough to handle safely, and let them continue to cool on a wire rack or plate.

Pack it In Muffins

October 10, 2010

First, I finally got around to listening to a band that one of my best college friends recommended.  Have you heard of Mumford and Sons?  If this name is not ringing a clear note, stop everything and find “The Cave” on YouTube.  The band is coming to Portland in two weeks, but it is sold out. (Phooey, I hate being late to the party.)  More importantly, however, Josie was able to make a stop in Portland this weekend.  We discovered an amazing farmers’ market in Lake Oswego (pronounced oss-WE-go) where we had the real breakfast of champions.  Josie started with a big German sausage.  I went straight for the Belgian waffles with “sugar pearls” in the middle and smothered in Nutella.  Then we sampled peppermint-flavored chocolate sauce, fruit slices, and watched the world’s most adorable child carry an over-sized bunch of sunflowers to her mother.  Next, we sampled a French-style chocolate croissant.  We finished up with the tastiest kettle corn I’ve ever had– and I am picky about my popcorn.  The vendor gave us a bonus bag, so we walked away with full tummies and big smiles.  However, the food fest was not nearly over.  We cooked a gourmet feast of a lunch (I’ll let Josie blog about this one), and then I went out to dinner downtown, at Dragonfish. Somewhere in between the farmers’ market and a movie, we managed to make these muffins. They pack in about as many ingredients as we did different foods.  Don’t worry, the tastes all come together!

–Little Ms. Muffin

Glorious Morning

1 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ tsp all-spice
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup coconut flakes
1 large peeled and grated apple
1 cup crushed and drained pineapple
2 cups grated sweet carrots
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour two muffin tins.

2) Whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.

3) Stir in the coconut, apple, pineapple, carrots, nuts (if desired).

4) In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Add them to the other ingredients and mix thoroughly.

5) Fill the muffin cups about ¾ of the way to the rim and bake for 35 minutes.  Allow the muffins to stay in the hot pan after baking, about ten minutes before removing to cool.
**Recipe yields two-dozen muffins.

Potty Training the Kitten Muffins

October 4, 2010

I’ve had it with the kitty litter.  It stinks—literally—and, it is expensive!  Let’s be honest:  I was always more of a dog person.  I love my dog incredibly much.  The kittens just kind of happened.  You know how some women claimed they are, “Kinda pregnant”?  Well, I “Kinda ended up with kittens.”  On my way to Portland, my entourage and I stopped at a friend’s family’s farm in Weiser, Idaho (home to the annual fiddler’s contest).  Their farm cats had multiple litters over the summer and they were not looking too good.  They all had mucusy eyes and sniffly noses.  Then, a little boy cat, who my friend’s son named James, started following me around.  It didn’t take long for me to be smitten.  But, as any animal lover knows, you cannot just take one kitten.  So Alice, named for Alice Paul, came along for the ride to Portland, too.  Fast forward three months: James is well-over five pounds and on his way to being a huge tomcat, and Alice likes to get into bagged loaves of bread left on the counter. Both of them poop a lot.  Thus, I’ve decided that one way or another, these kittens are going to learn how to use the real-person potty.  The internet has instructions for just about anything a person could want, so I’m set up and ready.  There is no good transition here.  Just trust me, make these muffins and have a nice day.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Zucchini Muffins

1 ½ cups shredded zucchini, not peeled
½  cup melted butter
2 eggs
¼  cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp salt

Optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts

1)      Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a muffin tin.

2)      Wisk together the baking powder, baking soda, spices, flour, and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in the brown sugar and the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla.

3)      Make a well in the center of the bowl of dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Stir it together until the batter is thoroughly mixed.  Then stir in the zucchini (and walnuts, if desired) until incorporated throughout.

4)      Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, but be careful not to overfill them.  Ideally, the batter should only come approximately half to three-quarters of the way to the rim of the cups.

5)      Bake the muffins for 20-23 minutes.

So Long Summer Muffins

September 30, 2010

Jam Muffins

The sun is setting on my beautiful Portland summer.  I’ve been dazzled by Kruger’s farm, wowed by the Brew Festival, tickled by the Mt. Tabor Soapbox Derby, delighted by the test rose gardens , and overwhelmed by Powell’s bookstore.  I mean, I’ve been privileged enough to see a soapbox car shaped like a giant slice of lasagna!  Summers really can’t get more colorful than that.  I realized that I was no longer a Portland novice when I met folks who had moved here more recently than I had.  I had the pleasure of confidently recommending the best sites to see.  Now (I am a little sorry to say) my summer play time is over, and I can look forward to some good quality fall fun (tempered, of course, by the rigors of law school). I recommend eating these guys with the Beach Boys playing in the background.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Jam Muffins

1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter
apricot jam
cherries (halved and pitted), optional

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2) Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the vanilla, milk, and butter. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and beat in the eggs, one at a time.
3) Put paper cups in a muffin tin, or grease and flour the tin. Fill each hole halfway. Put one teaspoon of jam or preserves in the center of each. Then, add one to two teaspoons of batter on top of the jam (covering the jam).
4) If desired, place a cherry half on each muffin before baking.
5) Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tin immediately and cool on a rack before serving.