In point of fact, this post is the result of Sunday muffineering, which was itself somehow the consequence of Saturday afternoon excess.
Saturday afternoon my true love and I attended the "First Annual BLC Ice Cream Social." (Thank you, Erika!) It was more of an orgy than a social. (This must not be construed as criticism. Everyone there was a consenting adult.) Before diving in, I managed to snap one coherent picture, of this Grey Catbird, one of many who had been eying our collected, lusciously melting feast with frank curiosity.
Then I began to glut myself upon taste all the different flavors of ice cream assembled, and my next photo looked like this:
I gave up all pursuits beyond cool, creamy delectation. Hours later, when the golden-eared bunnies began to appear in the dusk -- not sugar-born hallucinations, but real bunnies, honest! -- my true love managed to snap one enjoying a feast of his own (click to enlarge) --
-- but I collected no other photographic evidence. Just as well, right? What happens at Larz Anderson Park stays at Larz Anderson Park. Er -- maybe. No guarantees. I was hardly the only one there who had a camera, after all.
We left in a giddy state. Is it even legal to drive ice-creamed? I suspect not. I suspect the source of impairment is not so important legally as the fact of impairment. We made it home safely, though, thanks to my true love's excellent driving, and we were so desperate for protein that we called in an order for a steak from Serafina to pick up on the way, take home, and split at once. It was drenched in chianti, leek and gorgonzola sauce (repulsive looking but great tasting, especially after being scraped off) and accompanied by asparagus and a great heaping blob of naughty, naughty embellished mashed potatoes which had also unavoidably become impregnated with that same sauce. It was perhaps not the best choice for nourishment designed to restore our wits, and I fell into an epic nap immediately after consuming my half.
And then I awoke craving muffins.
Perversity? Hair of the dog? Whatever. I had to have them.
I was too overcome with lassitude to make them that very night, but yesterday was a different story. I knew I wanted something that wasn't fluffy white, but my true love winces at the thought of extremely hearty baked goods. I examined the pantry and the freezer, consulted two cookbooks (Mom's and Betty Crocker's), and these were the results:
Hair of the Ice Cream Dog Peach-Oatmeal-Spice Muffins
all ingredients that were grown were organically grown, of course -- except the oatmeal; I just love McCann's and can only wish it were organic
1 C flour
1 C quick oats
1/3 C your favorite natural sugar
1 T baking powder
½ t sea salt
½ t nutmeg
¼ t cinnamon
¼ t allspice
1 C plain soy milk (cow milk will work fine, I'm sure)
¼ C canola oil
1 T alcohol-free vanilla extract
1 jumbo egg
1 10-oz. pkg frozen peach slices, defrosted, drained, and chopped into two or three pieces each (a cup of chopped fresh peaches would probably be even better, but I didn't have any)
12 large pecan halves
turbinado sugar and allspice for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Grease a pan of 12 large (2¼"?) muffin cups with unhydrogenated vegetable shortening or butter and set aside. (Note: Although this makes a runny, lumpy batter that doesn't exactly poof, muffins will spread outside their cups while baking, and the turbinado on top of each will caramelize. This can make removal tricky unless you have not only greased inside the cups but also the top of the pan between the cups, as well.)
3. Whisk together dry ingredients (except for those set aside for sprinkling) in a medium-sized bowl.
4. In a large bowl, beat together milk, oil, vanilla, egg, and peach pieces.
5. Dump dry ingredients into wet all at once. Gently blend with a spatula or wooden spoon until everything that was dry is now moist, but don't beat it or go crazy obsessive with the even blending because you don't want to wear out the baking powder.
6. Divide the batter equally among the greased muffin cups. Top each batter portion with a pecan half, then sprinkle turbinado on top, then very lightly pinch little bits of allspice on top of that. Although I put the turbinado and the allspice on before the pecans because I was making it up as I went and didn't think of the pecans until after I'd done that, your muffin cups should look something like this:
7. Bake 20 minutes or until tester comes out dry. Cool as long as you can stand to before removing from pan and eating; this batch got a whole ten minutes. The longer you wait, the easier it will be to get them out whole, however.
While they are quite nice cold, being light and moist, these muffins are superb still warm, sort of peach-cobbler-y kind of wonderful, and -- dare I say it? -- might be especially amazing served in that state with vanilla ice cream.
Really perfectly acceptable plain, however.