Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins

Southern Californians are a funny lot. No matter how cold it gets, and for the past two weeks it has been very cold, Southern Californians will wear shorts and flip-flops no matter what.  I noticed this strange phenomenon yesterday as I was shopping at an outdoor mall. Me, bundled in a winter coat and scarf, and everyone else lollygagging about in their Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirts and sundresses. I really admire their spirit, and for some folks it really is an endless summer. And why not.  Maybe it’s the thin, east-coast blood that runs through my veins, but I was headed home to have a big bowl of chili and these homemade corn muffins. I was embracing the brisk winter weather with some down-home comfort food.

Anyway, son #1 had given me the Bouchon Bakery cookbook for a gift and I was anxious to try out some of the recipes. What I like most about the book is that it’s recipes are written in both cups and grams. As a gal whose obsession is baking, naturally I prefer gram measurements. Why, because baking is a science and grams are a precise measurement. When you weigh your ingredients your chances of a successful end product are almost guaranteed. Even if you’re just an occasional baker, I highly recommend you get yourself a digital food scale. You know I would never steer you wrong.

Thomas Keller explains in the book that the reason for allowing your batter to sit overnight is for the purpose of hydrating the flour. When the mixture absorbs the liquid ingredients, the result is a very moist corn muffin.

Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins

From Thomas Keller Bouchon Bakery

  • 1 1/4 cups + 3 tablespoons (201 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (51 grams) cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (12 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons (135 grams) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup (168 grams) whole milk
  • 2 large eggs (90 grams) 
  • 1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons (90 grams) canola oil
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (72 grams) frozen corn kernels

* If  you do not have a scale to weigh out the eggs, take your 2 large eggs and lightly beat them in a bowl and then remove about 1 teaspoon and that will be about 90 grams.

Directions

  1. Place the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sift in the cornmeal and baking powder. Add the sugar and salt and mix on the lowest setting for about 15 seconds to combine. Add the milk and eggs and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, just until combined. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the oil, then increase the speed to medium-low and mix for about 30 seconds to combine.
  2. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate all the dry ingredients that may be stuck to the bottom.  Fold in the corn. For best results, transfer the batter to a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with liners. Lightly spray the liners with nonstick spray. Spoon the batter into the cups about 3/4 full.
  4. Place the pan in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until muffins are lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When done, place the pan on a cooling rack and cool muffins completely.

Makes 12 standard size muffins

Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins

Recipe: Easy


Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

We here at Mama’s Gotta Bake just love our cookies. You notice how I said “we”, you know it’s really just me. I like to pretend there’s a group of us here so I can actually justify eating all these cookies.  Anyway, “we” spent the entire month of December  baking an obscene amount of goodies, but I decided that my last post of 2012 should be the Linzer Cookie.

For me, if there was ever cookie perfection, then the Linzer Cookie is it. They have a tender, nutty dough (check out those gorgeous flecks of nuts in the cookies below), a sweet preserve filling and they’re dusted ever-so-lightly with powdered sugar. Come on, you’re dying for one, admit it!

As we head into 2013, Mama’s Gotta Bake heads into year three, and I just wanted to thank all of you who have stopped by and read my posts. I appreciate your comments, and I can’t believe I get to connect with food lovers from all over the world. I wish everyone a peaceful and Happy New Year.

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies
From Fine Cooking
  • 2-1/2 oz. (1/2 cup) sliced almonds 
  • 2-1/2 oz. (1/2 cup) coarsely chopped hazelnuts 
  • 9-1/2 oz. (2 cups plus 1 Tbs.) all purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest 
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 
  • 7 oz. (14 Tbs.) chilled unsalted butter 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 T. cold water 
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite preserves (I chose four berry preserves)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting 

Directions

  1. The dough will need to be chilled for at least 3 hours, so keep that in mind when beginning this recipeIn a food processor, process the almonds and hazelnuts with 1/2 cup of the flour until fine textured but not powdered.
  2. Add the remaining flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Pulse to combine. Keep the butter in the refrigerator, it should not be room temperature. Take it out when you’re ready to use it. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and add to the flour mixture; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Don’t overprocess. Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk together the egg and water; sprinkle over the flour mixture and toss gently to combine. The dough should hold together when pinched. (If it seems dry, sprinkle on a bit more water.) Gather the dough into two balls and knead briefly just to blend. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, 2 to 3 hours. I made the dough a day before and refrigerated it overnight.
  3. To bake:  preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment. Roll one ball of the dough in between two layers of parchment paper, 3/16 inch thick. (Keep the rest in the refrigerator, and if the dough warms up to the point of being sticky while you’re working with it, return it to the refrigerator.) Cut out as many 2-1/2-inch rounds as possible, rerolling the scraps to make more rounds. Arrange on the cookie sheets about 3/4 inch apart. Cut 1-1/4-inch holes in the center of half the rounds. Reroll these center scraps to make more cookies. Bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on the sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.To assemble: With the back of a spoon or an offset spatula, spread a heaping 1/2 tsp. preserves on the underside of the whole cookie rounds. Top with the doughnut-shaped cookies, bottom sides against the preserves. Be sure you dust the “doughnut shaped” cookie with powdered sugar before you place it on top of the half with the preserves so that you do not cover the preserves with the sugar.

Makes 20 – 2 1/2″ cookies

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Mama’s Tips:

When you take your dough out of the refrigerator in preparation for baking, let it warm up for 5-10 minutes. Then, roll your dough out in between two pieces of parchment paper. At this point if the dough is too warm and sticking to the parchment,  you won’t be able to cut clean edged shapes from it. Lay the dough in the parchment flat on a cookie sheet and return the dough to the refrigerator or freezer. When the dough is cold again you will easily be able to cut your shapes out.

Store the cookies in an airtight container in between layers of wax paper. They should last for 3-4 days. But they won’t last that long, trust me.

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Recipe: Intermediate


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