Buttermilk is such a great addition when baking muffins and cakes. Since it's usually sold in quart containers only—4 cups, that is—it would be very rare to use the whole container when baking a recipe.
Even when I double or triple this recipe, I have leftover buttermilk. That is when I start baking buttermilk biscuits or buttermilk bread. For me, it is fun to figure out how to use up the leftover buttermilk. I usually start searching through my very large recipe collection which is made up of dozens of books and loose paper recipes.
I have substituted walnuts for pecans if I have no pecans in the house. My daughter, Marisa, says I am a nut because I always need to have a large supply of pecans, walnuts and almonds in the house, just in case I need them. If—heaven forbid—I run out of nuts, I have to go the store and buy some immediately. It drives my kids crazy. I put nuts in everything.
When you love to cook and bake like I do, you have to have a fully stocked kitchen. So, I replenish all my baking supplies whenever I notice something is running low.
This recipe was originally called Noreen’s Muffins because—of course—my friend Noreen gave me the recipe. She lived next door to us in our old neighborhood. Noreen was very pretty, very fit and trim. She never really baked; she lifted weights for fun.
However, one day she was watching a television show that showed how to make strawberry buttermilk muffins and she made them and gave me the recipe. I tried to make the muffins with the strawberries but they didn’t seem to come out right for me. That’s when I started to experiment with—what else?—nuts. So I changed it to cinnamon pecan muffins.
That was probably the first and last time Noreen baked. Fast forward 18 years later, Noreen is still pretty and still fit and trim. She didn’t even remember giving me the recipe for the muffins.
Experiment with recipes; don’t be afraid to change something. Cooking should be fun and interesting. The greatest mistakes I have made have turned into some of my greatest triumphs.
Unfortunately, I don’t always remember what I did wrong!
Buttermilk Pecan Breakfast Muffins
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease well a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper cupcake liners.
- In a bowl beat butter, sugar, buttermilk, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl sift flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the bowl, mixing thoroughly. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- In a small bowl, mix 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the brown sugar and pecans.
- Fill muffin cups half way up with batter. Spoon in some brown sugar-pecan mixture, and repeat with a little more batter to fill the muffin cup up three-quarters. Sprinkle the top with the brown sugar-pecan mixture.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 8 to 12 large muffins. They can be frozen after baking and completely cooled.
- ENJOY! Mornings never smelled so good!
Mariann Raftery, creator of Somebody's Mom blog, cooks up comfort food recipes for families here at home, as well as sending homemade cookie care packages to our American soldiers overseas. Somebody's Mom Cooking videos at http://www.youtube.com, search "Thesomebodysmom".
About this column: Cooking that reminds you of home.