Buttermilk Crumb Muffins

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What do ya think of those huh?.. I think they are beautiful!. They were this week’s assignment on Tuesdays with Dorie. Buttermilk Crumb Muffins. Don’t they just sound so moist and perfect with an A.M. (or P.M.) cup of joe. Well, I’m here to tell you they go superbly with coffee. They sweet but not sweet enough to write them off as dessert only . Their beautiful crumb and delicate spice ensure they are winners.

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I actually made them a few months ago to bring with as a morning meeting with some of my family in Milwaukee. They were so easy to throw together. I was concerned that the tops didn’t “rise”, but a quick double check at the book’s color photograph assured me that was how the recipe was written. Who am I to question Julia Child and Marion Cunningham?!! So beware! When you make these (because I KNOW you WILL), be sure to grease the TOP of your muffin pan with baking spray!.

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BUTTERMILK CRUMB MUFFINS
*Slightly adapted from Julia Child and Marion Cunningham
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups dark brown sugar
2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated mace
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, well beaten
Makes 14 to 16 muffins

– Place rack in the center f the oven then preheat to 350 Degrees.
– Either place 24 cupcake/muffin wrappers into 2 muffin tins and spray the top OR forget the wrappers and thourghly spray both pans including the tops.
– In a large bowl combine sugar and flour.
– Break shortening into a few pieces and drop them into the flour.
– Rub together until mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs (I used a pastry cutter).
– Measure 1/2 cup crumb topping and set aside for later.
– Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, mace, and salt to the large bowl of remaining sugar mixture and stir until evenly combined.
– Add buttermilk and beaten eggs and vanilla. Mix until well blended. (Batter should be thick and shiny.)
– Fill muffin tins two-thirds full. Sprinkle a rounded teaspoon of reserved crumb mixture onto each muffin.
– Half-fill any empty muffin molds with water. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

See?! Not so bad. Mr Nemo below wanted one so badly. Just couldn’t post this without including this last picture. I just wanna squeeze him! Have fun with these!
Dream. Bake. Believe.
Love, Steffie

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Kielbasa Au Gratin Pot Pie

Hannah of Rise and Shine was our October 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to bake our own double crusted savory pot pies. Using any from-scratch crust and filling we choose, we were allowed to get completely creative with our recipe, showing off the savory flavors and fillings from our own home or region.
Pot pies! I haven’t visited these in quite some time. I bought a pretty awesome potpie book in August before our Milwaukee to Florida road trip, and my sister and I spent a good two hours discussing the recipes in it. This was the perfect opportunity to use it. I pulled it out eagerly thumbing through my earmarks. Chicken, turkey, even salmon all appeared in it’s pages but nothing really came out and tickled my fancy. Drats….time to brainstorm.

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The heartiness of a pot pie reminds me of colder weather and of home. Once the tempuratures start to fall in autumn school started. So did Market Day. My mom would buy these little chicken pot pies from them and my dad would bake them off during the week. They were yummy and my favorite thing she would order (Twice baked potatoes were the runner up). But I could hardly order some frozen pot pies and call this challenge completed. Besides, does Market Day still even exist?! However those memories of the olden days got me thinking to other weeknight meals my daddy would whip up. I remember him making a ring bologna ( kielbasa) and pairing it with potatoes. Oh man, I haven’t had that in years! I loved that meal too. I happily told my Aunt who, as luck would have it, remembered how my grandfather would make the potatoes.  That is how Kielbasa Au Gratin Potpie was born…
 
 

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Aunt Sandi’s Kielbasa Au Gratin.
 
Your favorite pie crust recipe ( enough for a double crust pie)
5 cups  peeled cubed idaho potatoes
Olive oil
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic smashed
1 -14 oz kielbasa. sliced, then quartered
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup cheddar
 
– Preheat oven to 450 and place rack in lower third of oven.
– In a 9 ” deep dish pie plate, bake bottom crust for 10- 11 minutes or until starting to turn golden. 
– In a large pan, sauté onions in olive oil until soft on medium heat. Add potatoes and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
– Add kielbasa and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 20 min.
– Once potatoes have reached desired doneness pour in cream, and add cheese, stir to combine.
– Pour into bottom crust and top with second pie crust. Cut some venting slits and bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes until upper crust is golden.
 
 

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I can’t get enough of this. I love it love it love it. If I close my eyes, I can even picture sitting in my parents kitchen the square table with the big block on one wall and the painting they bought on a cruise on the other wall. I feel like the man from ratatouille…I am home.
Dream. Bake. Believe.
Love, Steffie

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