Friday, August 15, 2014

Pistachio Muffins

When I eat these muffins, all my troubles melt away. These muffins are like warm blankets wrapping us up in a big muffin hug.

You know how some foods can transport you to another time or place? Pistachio muffins are like that for me. They immediately bring me to lazy Saturday mornings at home. My mom and I preferred to eat them toasted with a bit of melted butter on each half. Oh, yum. 

I was really craving one of these muffins and so I decided to give a try making a slightly lighter version at home. Turns out, the recipe was a huge success and I had to share it here!

My recipe for Pistachio Muffins is guaranteed to make your weekend a better, more relaxed place. Muffins are one of my favorite breakfast treats to make--all you need is a big bowl, a liquid measuring cup, and a muffin tin. 

These muffins are wonderful for many reasons. First of all, pistachios, crushed and crumbled, are the best nut ever. Please do not argue with this! They add a wonderful flavor and a slight crunch throughout every bite.

Then, of course, there is the whole stick of butter that is melted and stirred into the batter. Don't be scared of the butter! It keeps the muffins moist and tender for days! Plus, I subbed half the flour for whole wheat pastry flour (good life choices!) 

My muffins are sweetened with light brown sugar and almond extract, for an extra delicious nutty flavor. Might I suggest enjoying one warm, right out of the oven, with some more butter spread on top? Or perhaps you have some cherry jam, in which case it would be prudent that you slather a bunch of that on a muffin or two. If you are enjoying these muffins a day or two after baking, try zapping them in the microwave for just a few seconds -- they will be just as delicious as the moment you enjoyed them fresh out of the oven!

Here's what you need for Pistachio Muffins* (Print Recipe!)

1/2 heaping cup of unsalted, shelled pistachios 
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk of choice, I used 2%
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon almond extract

Here's what you do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with 9 liners (or 12 if you prefer smaller muffins). Fill the remaining cups half way with water to save your pan and to keep the muffins moist.

Add the pistachios to a food processor and pulse 7 to 10 times until most of the pistachios form a fine powder, but with a few smaller pebble-sized nuts mixed throughout.

Whisk the pistachios, flours, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Measure the milk in a glass liquid measuring cup, then whisk in the eggs, brown sugar, butter and almond extracts until well combined. Pour all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir gently just until the ingredients are combined. If the mixture is a little lumpy, that's totally fine! You don't want muffin batter to be "pour-able." 

Scoop the batter into the prepared tins. I filled my tins all the way to the top to make nice, large muffins--this recipe will yield 9 muffins of this size. You can also fill the tins three-quarters of the way and get 12 medium muffins. 

Bake muffins for 17 minutes or until the tops are domed and golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Enjoy warm out of the oven or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. After day 1, you will want to zap the muffins in the microwave for a 10-15 seconds to warm them up before eating. 

*Gas Stove Girl original recipe, adapted with guidance from the Joy of Cooking cookbook. 

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