Over this Memorial Day Weekend, I really indulged myself. My two girlfriends came over to spend the weekend with me. I cooked for them. I hired a babysitter so I could go to a movie with them. We stayed up late both nights and even had a bit of alcohol for fun. It was about as decadent a weekend as I can manage when my husband is out of town. I am, after all a mother of three children so there aren't a lot of options for decadence and luxury.
But it is a luxury to have a refrigerator full of food and willing eaters at the table. Friend CY ordered what I call the "large meal" as she decided on egg rolls. When I asked friend SS what she wanted to eat, she gave a few options and I really wanted to cook as many things for her on her list. After all, the cook's greatest reward are willing and excited eaters of his or her food. You don't always get that loving attention from children, but friends who want to eat, you get that affection.
I also did something I never do - I hired a sitter, and went to a movie. We watched Sex and the City 2 in a theater, at nighttime. The movie itself was pretty decadent in its portrayal of the women's lives, but really the experience of watching such a movie on the big screen with two good friends...absolute luxury.
We also stayed up late, laughing, talking, giggling (and one night baked something I shouldn't have). Kids upstairs sleeping while we were downstairs having fun. Again - about as wonderful as I could have wished. Actually, I could have had a bit more sleeping in time in the morning, but kids are like clockwork and wake up at 7:00 AM even if I only went to bed at 3:30 AM.
This morning, when I woke up, I decided I needed something special to go with the wonderful luxury of the weekend of fun. I set out to make a special muffin, based on a recipe I had seen in Tish Boyle's The Cake Book. This muffin would reflect the luxury and specialness of the weekend - it would be rich, complex and super delicious.
And it was. Immediately upon eating a bite, CY said, "It just melts in my mouth." She quickly popped two into her mouth and washed it down with some coffee. SS had a much more measured response to it, but ate quietly, savoring each luscious mouthful. I had barely enough time to eat one before Daughters came running over clamoring for one of their own, and they to mumbled through full mouths how they liked the flavor.
They are rich, and have the additional complication of making a crumb topping. But if you have a special breakfast to bake for - this should be your muffin.
Sour Cream-Blueberry Crumb Cake Muffins (adapted from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book)
Makes 17 muffins OR one 9 inch square or round cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulate sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until well blended. Add the melted butter and mix with a fork, stirring until the butter is absorbed and the dry ingredients are uniformly moistened. Set aside.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or unthawed frozen blueberries
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of 9 inch square or round pan OR line muffin tins with liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well blended. Add blueberries and toss.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and granulated sugar and medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at time, beating well after each addition and scarping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add sour cream and beat in.
Remove bowl from mixer, and carefully fold in blueberry flour mixture. Mix, using a light hand until just blended.
Scrape batter into prepared pan or muffin tins. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the batter, breaking up any large lumps with your fingers.
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes for pan, or 25-30 minutes for muffins. Place cake in the pan on a wire rack and let cool. Serve.
Indulge in these for a treat.