Faster than a quick bread and more virtuous than cupcakes, muffins are becoming a staple in the Astro-Gastro household thanks to a feature on “Munchable Muffins” in this month’s issue of Cooking Light. I’ve been making little portable breads here and there over the years, but this article is really inspiring me to crank my muffin making into overdrive. Thus far, I’ve dog-eared a sweet recipe and a savory one to test out. First up, pistachio chai muffins.
I adore both pistachios and chai tea, so there was no question that I’d tackle this recipe first. Additionally, I liked that the muffins called for a simple glaze topping. Aside from adding a bit of sweetness to the mix, it also brought a festive quality that is usually absent from muffins. Everyone knows that festive muffins are infinitely superior to ordinary ones.
After following the recipe and Cooking Light’s “Five Tips for Perfect Muffins” to a T, I pulled out a dozen evenly golden muffins from the oven. I left a few lumps in the batter just like I was instructed, and the results were super-moist muffins with the softest, most pleasant crumb. It turns out that over-stirring can really toughen a muffin! The flavor of the chai was subtle but noticeable, while the salted pistachios and sweet icing provided pizzazz.
We’re down to only two muffins in the fridge, which means that it’s time to whip up another batch. Next up, spicy bacon cheddar corn muffins. I hope they’re as addictive as these.
- 7.9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 chai blend tea bags, opened
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Cooking spray
- 1/3 cup shelled dry-roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 375°. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Cut open tea bags; add tea to flour mixture, stirring well.
Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle nuts evenly over batter.
Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon water, stirring until smooth. Drizzle evenly over muffins.
Makes 12 muffins.