Thursday, August 26, 2010

Each Peach

Have you guys heard about this crazy California heat wave? Normally, I am not one to complain about hot weather, but it seriously sucks when you are stuck in a classroom with 30 sweaty 12-year-olds and no AC from 8 to 3.

Just sayin'.

Despite the record-breaking heat, I decided to bake some muffins Wednesday night. It was only 85 degrees in my kitchen, so I thought it probably wouldn't hurt to crank up the oven to 400 degrees at 9pm.

No biggie.

The real reason I went ahead with the baking, though, was because I had bought all these extra peaches to bake peach muffins with and they were ripening at record speed in the heat. I knew I needed to either cook them or eat them all as soon as possible and I didn't think I could eat that many peaches in one sitting.

Enter the Spiced Peach Muffin.

Spiced Peach Muffins
from King Arthur Flour

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 4 peaches, diced (not peeled)
  • granulated sugar
  1. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, brown sugar, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, vegetable oil and milk, then gently stir in fruit. 
  2. Grease 16 muffin cups, and heap batter into cups; they'll be very full. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. 
  3. Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until muffins test done. Makes 16 muffins.

I was short on flour, so I actually halved the recipe, and somehow still ended up with 14 muffins. I know that math doesn't really add up, but it's the truth. Perhaps I didn't heap the batter enough? Anyway, the 14 muffins that I ended up with were a huge hit with the English teachers at my school (and with my husband, of course), so I'll be sure to make these again while peaches are still in season (or, as King Arthur suggests, with blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries. Yum!).

Do you consider yourself a cook or a baker? Do you think there's a difference?
I consider myself a cook who occasionally bakes. I don't really like baked goods much, but B loves them and they are fun to share. I get nervous with the precision of baking though. I'm always afraid I'll "mismeasure" something or end up forgetting a crucial ingredient (like the time I forgot to add sugar to my mom's birthday cake when I was 10.).

PS - As of today, the heat wave has broken! I am a happier camper.