Saturday, September 10, 2011

All-Moved-In Muffins

Well, I am finally safely and soundly back at Wes and have already survived my first week of classes.  After my crazy summer, it feels so good to be back into a routine and living a life that is my own.  I feel at home and at peace.  I am taking really neat classes, seeing all my friends, and enjoying every minute of my senior year to the fullest.

One aspect of senior year I'm very excited about is my living situation.  I am currently sharing one floor of a beautiful wood-frame house on campus with three wonderful people.  The four of us share a passion for baking and cooking, which is great since we have a very spacious (and now very well-stocked) kitchen.  The neighbors next door are not Wesleyan students, but have reached out to us to be friends.  They wrote on their kitchen window which faces ours: "Hi new neighbors, we are Fort Awesome.  Who are you?"  We were quick to respond with signs in our own window, and are eager to make new friends.  The best way for me to make friends (and apparently boyfriends) is to bake things for them, so we decided the next step in reaching out to our neighbors would be through food.
All ready for the first baking adventure in the new kitchen!
Stacy, one of my closest friends on campus, came over to help me bake some cookies as my house's gesture of friendship, but unfortunately, we lacked two very key ingredients for the ones we wanted to make.  We decided that instead, we would just turn the chocolate-chip cranberry cookies into muffins  since we had all the necessary muffin ingredients.  We used the basic muffin recipe from Better Homes and Gardens' New Baking Book and then added dried cranberries and chocolate chips.  Unfortunately, since we are still in the process of building our baking supply stock, we did not have anything to use to grease the pans.  I decided to use my silicone cupcake trays instead.  WHAT A MISTAKE.  I really hate using them.  I think they make everything turn out a weird texture, and apparently they burn the bottoms super easily.  The muffins turned out unsuitable for gifting, so we kept them for ourselves and decided to bake cookies as a house instead on Sunday.  If you actually have greasing materials, try these muffins.  Maybe they'll turn out better for you.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from the basic muffin recipe in this book.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
generous handful of dried cranberries
4 oz chocolate chips

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl
In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients
Stir together until mostly combined
Add cranberries and chocolate chips and finish stirring until combined.  DO NOT OVERSTIR.
Spoon batter into well-greased cupcake trays.  Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.
Do not use silicone, or you will get oddly textured and slightly blackened muffins like these
Well, I hope you have better luck if you try these yourself.  Maybe tomorrow our cookies will be presentable enough to give to the neighbors so we can be friends.

Here's to a great semester of baking, studying, and friends.
Love and cookies,

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