A few weeks back, I hosted my small group at my house. We had eaten our dinner of Pork Bossam, and the women gathered around my kitchen table for some sharing, prayer and coffee cake. I poured coffee for the women and asked the women to dig into the cake, which most did willingly. I quickly noticed that RB was not taking any coffee and I said, "Why aren't you drinking any coffee?"
She responded, "Because I won't sleep."
I reassured her, "Oh. This coffee is decaf. Almost always coffee in my house is decaf because I can't sleep either."
"Then I'll definitely have some," she said with an eager smile.
As the women ate up the cake, I ordered RB, "Hey have some cake!"
"Oh, I don't want to eat that. Coffee is enough," she replied.
"Come on. The cake tastes GREAT with the coffee," I said. (I generally don't like it when people refuse my food.)
"Oh, but then I really won't sleep because of the coffee in that cake," she said.
I was speechless for a moment, and then YK interjected, "Yes, don't eat the cake because of the coffee. You won't sleep."
The rest of the table started giggling hysterically and I said, "There is no coffee in coffee cake."
Both RB and YK looked at us confused and said, "Then why is it called coffee cake?"
Keep in mind that both RB and YK speak Korean fluently and English very well. So there was something sort of lost in translation which is why they had always assumed the coffee cake had coffee in them.
Which is why, when I saw the recipe for these muffins in Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours, I knew I had to make them, if only to take them to small group, pass them around and say, "Now these do have coffee in them."
I made mine decaf, so that my caffeine-fearing friends would eat them fearlessly. (I fear caffeine after noon most days.) They were not that sweet, slightly mocha and the texture was really moist and squishy. My small group enjoyed them and most found themselves eating more than they had intended.
Coffee-Break Muffins (From Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours)
Makes 12 regular muffins or 24 mini muffins.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso (I did not put this in)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup strong coffee, cooled
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400. Line or grease muffin pan (either 12 regular or 24 mini.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar espresso powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making sure to get rid of lumps.
In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together the coffee, melted butter, egg and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients, and gently and quickly blend. A few lumps are okay as over mixing will make the muffins tough. Divide the batter into the muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing muffins from its mold.
Make these with or without caffeine