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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Coffeecake Muffins

Holy cow, these are divine.  I think they may have just kicked Cinnamon Ripple muffins out of the number one muffin spot.  And they should be good, because they are pretty labor intensive.  If I ever make these muffins for you, it means I love you from the depths of my soul.

First of all: pecans.  They are, like, ten dollars a POUND.  You can eat filet mignon, or you can eat pecans.  And I promise you, people, this recipe makes it worth it to shell out (heh, heh . . . like a shell?  Like a nutshell?  Never mind).  Since it only calls for a half-cup of pecans per dozen--you'll probably have some left over for other yummy recipes.  (I added some to the streusel in my peach pie on National Pi Day and it was delectable).

***Downright Heart-Warming Personal Anecdote:
We had two very mature walnut trees when we lived in Arkansas, and when my dad came to visit us, he could not believe our good fortune.  He promptly bought us a walnut/pecan roller, like this one:

We used it to roll along the ground and pick up the walnuts--like one of those Fisher-Price Scoop And Whirl Poppers.  Both walnuts and pecans are inside a leathery green husk that you have to rip off to get to the nut--a walnut husk stays on, but the husk around a pecan will dry out and fall off on its own when it's ripe.  We visited a farmer who had an old-fashioned walnut huller and he hulled our walnuts for the price of half that we had picked.  It was so cool to watch!

We drove by our old house on our last Arkansas visit to show the kids where we used to live, and discovered to our HORROR that the new owners CHOPPED DOWN the walnut trees. The 75-year-old walnut trees that were still giving fruit!  What?!

At least I kept our walnut-roller. I gave it back to my dad, who now uses it on his own walnut tree that he planted twenty-eight years ago.   It's finally been bearing nuts for the past five years now, and seeing firsthand all the work it takes: planting, waiting twenty-plus years, picking, hulling, drying, then finally cracking and eating, has made me realize that nuts are expensive for a reason. ***

You don't have to drizzle glaze on the top, but why wouldn't you?
Mmmmm . . . glaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaze.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

National Pi Day = Exponential Happiness

And it just keeps going . . .
No circle ever looked so tasty . . .

March 14th is a perfect day to have a holiday--it's a month after Valentine's Day and a month before taxes are due.  Which is a mathematical equation for STRESS.  Enter pie as a variable.  Problem solved.

This year for Pi Day, I made Brigham City Peach Pie, with my Flakiest Pie Crust recipe, because the first time I made it, I gave it to Troy as a birthday gift, and never got to taste a single slice myself.  I had a bunch of pecans left over from making Coffeecake Muffins, so I added about 3/4 cup to the streusel that gets mixed in with the peaches.  Another welcome variable to this equation.

Other pies you might enjoy:
It's very difficult to make this without a food processor,
so you better get one.  I love my Bosch processor.
BOSCH Compact Food Pro
Just because this pie crust recipe is for beginners not not mean it
is not DELICIOUS.  Because it is.