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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Leprechaun Muffins

 Well I didn't quite get these up for St. Patrick's, did I?  But anyone who loves pistachios as much as I do won't mind because these are great any day of the year.  A delicious sour cream batter surrounding a rich sweet pistachio filling that, in every muffin, turns out like a little smile. 

I had to hunt this recipe down like a bloodhound.  See, when I made my Frozen Pistachio Tarts, I had to buy a 3-pack of pistachio paste.  Which means I had a whole lot of pistachio paste left over.  So naturally I started looking for recipes.  In the KAF forums I saw mention of a Leprechaun Muffin, which was achingly intriguing, but I couldn't find the recipe anywhere.  I finally figured out it was published in their own publication, The Baking Sheet, but not available online.  So I went and ordered myself a back issue and waited with great anticipation.

What a gem, too.  Not only did it have this recipe, but also a Pistachio-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake (using more pistachio paste, woo-hoo!), a Daffodil Cake (a yellow-and-white sponge cake flavored with orange), Tourtiere (French meat pie), Hot Cross Buns, and more.  It's a little expensive, but I'm seriously considering a subscription.

In the meantime, here's a freebie for you, for no pistachio lover should be without Leprechaun Muffins.

Leprechaun Muffins (print recipe)
Makes 16 muffins


1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Filling (makes enough for two batches of batter):
1/2 cup pistachio paste
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 drop green food coloring

1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts, optional

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with papers and spray the insides of the papers.  Put the extras in another tin or the same one after it cooks.

2.  To make the dough:  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between additions and stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl after each egg.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add to the egg mixture in thirds, alternating with the sour cream.  Beat in the extracts.

3.  To make the filling: Combine the pistachio paste, cream cheese, and sugar until smooth.  Add the flour, mix to combine, then beat in the egg, almond extract, and a drop of green food coloring, if using.

4.  To make the streusel: Combine the ingredients, mixing well with a fork or your hands.

5.  To assemble muffins: Scoop 2 T of batter into each of the wells of the muffin tins.  Spoon a Tablespoon of filling on top of the batter, then scoop another 2 T of batter on top.  The wells should be filled to just below the tops of the papers.  Sprinkle the streusel on top, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack for 5 minutes before taking the muffins out of the pans to finish cooling completely.
 Coffeecake variation: Butter and flour two 8-inch round pans or a 9x13 pan.  Spread half the batter in the prepared pans; spread the filling over it, and then spoon the remaining batter on top.  Sprinkle with the streusel, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack, or cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe from The Baking Sheet, Spring 2010

1 comment:

Charlene said...

Your mom gave us some to try and I absolutely loved them!! I'm excited to try it out at home!!

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