Eggnog Streusel Muffins

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Hello, December!

The holidays are in full swing over here, as this is my ever-fave time of the year. One of my favorite holiday flavors is Eggnog. The thing is…I’m not so much into drinking it. In a latte? Totally. In ice cream, hell-to-the-yes. Cookie, cakes, etc…yup.

Even though eggnog is basically melted ice cream–drinking it is just too much for me. The viscosity gets to me every time. I love to add eggnog to a baked good–like these super soft cookies or this pretty cake. It replaces the dairy in many recipes like a dream. The richness and subtle nutmeg spice is perfect for holiday baking. I threw these muffins together, using my favorite recipe as the starting point, over the weekend. The muffin is tender and fragrant with eggnog flavor. The streusel has hints of nutmeg and the sugary crunch is perfection in top of the tender muffin. They come together quickly and are perfect with a cup of coffee on grey-sky mornings.

Eggnog Streusel Muffins

adapted from this recipe. 

Makes 8 standard or 24 mini muffins.

1 cup all-purpose flour

6 Tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg

1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons eggnog

3 Tablespoons browned butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Streusel:

2 Tablespoons browned butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

tiny pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350*f and line your desired muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

Brown the butter for the muffins and streusel. Melt 5 Tablespoons of butter in a small pan. Heat over medium until the butter becomes foamy, continue heating–swirling or stirring the butter–until the milk solids become dark golden brown and fragrantly nutty. Remove from heat and divide accordingly into two bowls. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl mix the streusel together by combining the 2 Tablespoons of browned butter with the flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Set in refrigerator until ready to use.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg.

In a large measuring cup whisk together the egg, eggnog, 3 Tablespoons of the cooled browned butter, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold until just combined. Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups, divide streusel evenly over the tops of each muffin and bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean–about 13-15 minutes for minis and 16-20 for standard muffins. I would check them both after the earliest suggested time and go from there. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Iced Eggnog Cookies

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So, I don’t know if you noticed, but, there are some big changes around here!

By here, I mean this here blog. I have a new design (duh!), a little space for some ads (so I can fund some more giveaways and fun things!), I’ve updated my links page with some of my favorite reads and inspirations, I’m also working on a recipe index and a new about page! Yay! All this change has been a long time coming, I’m an indecisive gal, so there have been many tweaks and changes along the way and more than a few complete do-overs. Luckily, I have a really understanding and patient web/tech guy–my husband, Sean. By day he’s an engineer, by night he dabbles in web design (not only did he do this page, he also did this one). What a guy.

Instead of paying him in dolla-bills, I pay him in undying affection and an endless supply of sweet treats. Sometimes it’s a spin on a favorite, sometimes I force him to try something he claims to dislike…only to win him over in the end (usually).

Lately, these treats have been holiday-centric, like this coffee cake, and these Iced Eggnog Cookies. Though, neither Sean nor I enjoy really drinking eggnog,–it’s a consistency thing–we both really love it in baked goods. It easily replaces the milk in many a recipe and brings it’s nutmeg-y richness to the party. These cookies are soft, cakey, and get a double hit of nog in both the cookie batter and the glaze. I also added some fresh nutmeg for additional spice and holiday cheer.

P.S. If you notice any quirks or difficulties with navigating this new site, definitely let me know so we can fix it.

Iced Eggnog Cookies

adapted from Orangette 

I made these cookies for the first time years ago for my first-ever blog post. Lots of things have changed around here since then, I’m much less woe-is-me and I’ve worked on honing those baking and camera skills, but these cookies–in any form–remain a favorite. 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ground)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons softened, unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup dairy eggnog, well shaken

for the glaze

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

pinch of salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (or ground)

2 tablespoons eggnog

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment, set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with electric beaters, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, beat to combine and scrape bowl well. Add vanilla, beat to combine. Mix in flour and eggnog alternately, beginning and ending with flour, until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

Drop tablespoons of dough on cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart-cookies will flatten slightly while baking, but still be domed. Bake sheets 1 at a time until cookies are puffed and slightly golden around the edges (9-12 minutes). Cool the cookies on sheets for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

To make the glaze: Whisk together all of the ingredients until combined. Add more confectioner’s sugar or eggnog to acheive the consistency you like. Spoon glaze over slightly warm cookies. Allow to set on wire rack until cool and glaze hardens slightly.

Cookies are best the day they are made when they are tender and cakey. They do keep well in an airtight container for a few days, but will be slightly chewier and less tender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Cranberry Eggnog Coffee Cake

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On a holiday like Christmas, the morning can be a little hectic. Especially if there are little ones around, or dudes like my brother–a child trapped in a mans body–with their minds on what’s under the tree and not what’s in the kitchen. For my family, this isn’t the time for long, lingering breakfasts…it’s a time for coffee and something to snack on whilst tearing through that paper and cozying up on the couch for a few hours before heading to my aunts house for an extended family gathering and feast session.

We try to have something for breakfast that can be baked while the coffee is brewing. It can’t be anything that requires anyone to be sequestered in the kitchen for long, that’s just not right, and it has to be able to bake while the coffee is brewing. Meaning, it can’t take more than an hour, because it doesn’t matter how early my mom and I rise…the rest of the house will soon follow and a battle like that isn’t fit for Christmas morning.

I suspect that this year will be even more of a challenge since my niece is a toddler and we will all be anxious to see her react to the tree, and the gifts, and all of the festive, magical glory that is Christmas. She’s already at an exciting age and this exciting time of the year is sure to be a good memory for us all. I really cannot wait!

This cake would be a perfect Christmas morning treat. It’s pretty and full of holiday flavors–eggnog, cranberries, vanilla, and nutmeg–plus it has a little crumble on top. The jeweled cranberry layer takes on an almost jam-like quality, while the vanilla and nutmeg make the flavor of the eggnog sing. The cake is moist and a little dense in that coffee cake way. It’s delightful, albeit messy, served still a bit warm from the oven, though it keeps well overnight and can be baked ahead…further freeing up your morning for the fun stuff.

Cranberry Eggnog Coffee Cake

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

I have made this cake before, with buttermilk instead of eggnog and without the nutmeg. I loved it the first time, but I may like this festive version even more. This cake can be made year-round too with any flavor of jam standing in for the cranberry layer. 

1 vanilla bean split and scraped (save the pod for extract or sugar)

1 3/4 cup sugar

6 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon fresh, grated nutmeg, divided

1 stick (4 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon softened butter, divided

2 large eggs

1/2 cup eggnog

confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375F, placing the rack in the middle. Butter a 9-inch springform pan (or cake pan) and line the bottom with parchment. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process sugar with vanilla bean until combined well. Pour vanilla sugar into a separate bowl. Add cranberries and 1/2 cup of the sugar back into the processor bowl and pulse a few times until finely chopped, but not puréed.

In a medium bowl whisk together 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of vanilla sugar with 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour. Blend well with fingers, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with electric beaters,  beat together 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl well and alternately add flour mixture and eggnog, beginning and ending with flour, until just combined.

Spread half of the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing as best as you can. Spread the cranberries over the batter, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the diameter. Gently spread the remaining batter on top of the cranberry layer, all the way to the edges, and sprinkle with crumble topping.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake (not the cranberry layer) comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the pan–40-50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 30 minutes before releasing from the pan.

Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

Can be made 24 hours ahead, stored cooled and tightly wrapped at room temperature.