Summer Peach and Almond Muffins
These muffins are straightforward and delicious. Most any stone fruit can be substituted for the peaches: nectarines, cherries, plums or apricots. Other nuts can replace the almonds as well, but do remember to toast them as this really enhances the nut flavor.
Master Muffin Recipe, see below
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cup peaches, unpeeled and diced in
¾ cup slivered almonds, toasted
¼ cup brown sugar, to sprinkle on muffin tops before baking
Prepare the Master Muffin Recipe and add the spices in with the dry ingredients. The vanilla can be added with the eggs to the creamed butter–sugar mixture. After the Master Muffin batter is complete, fold in the peaches and almonds. Prepare a muffin tin with nonstick spray, being careful to spray the flat surface where the muffin dome will spill over. Insert fluted muffin papers if you wish, then fill each muffin cup to the top and sprinkle each muffin with brown sugar before baking. Baking times should be similar to that of the master recipe.
MASTER MUFFIN RECIPE
MAKES APPROXIMATELY 24 MINI MUFFINS OR 12 LARGE MUFFINS
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsalted butter
2 eggs, room temperature
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 400°F (on convection setting, if you have it). In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time and mix until just combined. In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients and then slowly add to the creamed butter followed by the milk. Stir until the mixture just comes together. Do not overmix—a few lumps are fine.
Prepare a muffin tin with nonstick spray, being careful to spray the flat surface where the muffin dome will spill over. Insert fluted muffin papers if you wish, then fill each muffin cup to the top. Bake approximately 12–15 minutes for mini muffins and 20–25 minutes for large muffins. The muffins are done when the muffin tops spring back, the edges are golden brown and/or a cake tester comes out clean.
*Note: I sometimes replace 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of whole-wheat white flour, which won’t much affect the recipe but adds a slight nutty flavor and almost imperceptible crunch.