TWD: Allspice Crumb Muffins

I had such high hopes for these, but they failed me on various levels:

Allspice Crumb Muffins

1) My crumbs were runny, turning to crusty when the muffins cooled.

2)  The muffins were excellent warm, but kind of dry when they cooled off. I needed coffee to go with them later in the week. Would the lemon zest have made a difference? I didn’t have any in the house!

3) Without the crumbs, the muffins were kind of dull. Nice with coffee, but not the kind of thing I was eager to eat in the car on the way to the train in the morning.

But I have high hopes for the sweet potato biscuits I’ll make Sunday when I return from Nashville!

TWD: Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins

Before we get to the food, a word about the weather:

It’s crap. Complete and utter crap.

Saturday it snowed wildly, trapping me in the house with my untouched list of errands to run, wistfully looking toward the widow and thinking “I’ll give it another half hour to slow down before I hit the road,” or “maybe in another half hour I’ll just to the stuff in town.”

“HA!” Mother Nature replied as either the snowflakes got bigger or the wind blew harder, pushing me farther back toward the kitchen.  I left the house only once on Saturday, and that was by force at dusk when a realtor wanted to walk through my place with potential home buyers (yes, my place is still for sale).

Monday, it snowed again. Tuesday will bring arctic winds. Wednesday and Thursday promise more of the same.

corn and pepper muffin

The only response on days like these is to make soup (or oatmeal, if it’s breakfast time), and Dorie’s muffins went perfectly with the boxed red pepper and tomato soup I dressed up over the weekend.  Thanks to the blogger from Ezra Pound Cake for the foresight to know that I would need these corn muffins this weekend.  She’ll post the muffin recipe on her blog this week, while I describe how wonderful they are.

To start off, the muffins are pretty. Yellow cornmeal flecked with deep red chili powder makes for a very rich looking muffin, but the bits of finely chopped fresh red pepper and jalapeño pepper and the bright yellow corm make the muffin almost festive – confetti-like. I was really proud to put them on my table (even if I was wearing a stained t-shirt and hadn’t bothered with makeup for 24 hours before coming to the table).

Biting into the muffin puts flavor behind the appearance, as the buttermilk batter and good quality chili powder really do make for a happy mouth.  These are the perfect tomato soup muffins.  Many of my TWD colleagues served them with chili, but I think the flavors would compete.  These are a good companion for a creamy soup.

NOTE: Two days later they have dried out a bit, but I think toasting the leftovers and buttering them will perk things right up tonight. I usually need a snack while I cook dinner after work.