Stollen Muffins

Merry Christmas in muffin form!

Finally!  It’s officially (past) time to start crankin’ the Christmas tunes, bustin’ out the holiday decorations and baking, baking, baking!  I’m one of those weirdos whose favorite season is winter, because faux fur throws, snow and CHRISTMAS!  Christmas is my happy place, and I hit it hard.  Today I whipped up a batch of my all-time favorite muffins – Stollen Muffins.

I’m not a massive fan of Stollen per se (too dry) but these muffins pack many of my favorite Christmas flavors into one moist, chewy and thankfully not-too-sweet package.  These babies are chock full of spices, nuts, fruits and candied rinds but only 1/3 cup of sugar!  If you don’t have or don’t like one of the ingredients, leave it out or swap something else in.  These taste so much like “Christmas” to me that I make them throughout the year when I need a dose of Christmas spirit.  I also individually wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them for when a cheer emergency hits.  These freeze perfectly and are just the thing with a cuppa on your afternoon break.  Enjoy!

Preheat your oven to 400 and place a rack in the center of the oven.  In a large mixing bowl combine:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp. ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice

Add, and toss to thoroughly coat & combine:

  • 1/3 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried pineapple, chopped into small bits
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup candied lemon peel, chopped
  • 1/4 cup candied orange peel, chopped

In a 2 cup glass measure whisk together:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 10 drops Fiori di Sicillia – or – 1/2 tsp each lemon extract and orange extract (or equivalent of lemon and orange food grade oil)

Add to dry ingredients and stir gently just to combine.  Here’s where your trusty dough whisk comes in handy.  This dough is pretty stiff and full of goodies, so don’t panic if you think it’s not “wet” enough.

The batter will be fairly stiff and chock full of yummy bits. A dough whisk is a great tool for mixing muffins and other quick batters.

Generously grease a standard muffin pan and scoop the batter into the wells – an extra large #16 disher makes quick work of this!

Dishers make portioning cookie and muffin batters soooo easy!

Bake 18-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out moist but clean.  The muffins will be browned on the sides but not the tops.  DO NOT cook them till browned on top or you will have Stollen Hockey Pucks.

Bake till muffin tests done, the sides are browned but the top is not

Let the muffins cool in the pan 5 minutes and then remove them to a cooling rack.  A plastic knife is your friend here – easy to slide under the muffins without scratching your pan.

See?  Nicely browned on the sides – I love my USA Pans!  Use a plastic knife to avoid scratching your beloved pan.

When muffins are completely cooled, brush the tops with melted butter and dip the them in powdered sugar.

Any day I get to use my baby silicone basting brush is a good one!

I used King Arthur’s Non Melting Powdered Sugar – it’s a special type of powdered sugar that won’t melt into your moist baked goods like regular powdered sugar does.  It tastes and feels like the powdered sugar on a boxed powdered sugar donut (admittedly not fab, but hey, I gotta use it up!).  As you likely don’t have this stuff on hand, I would advise waiting to butter & sugar the muffins until right before you eat them.  Or – you can dip them warm from the oven in powdered sugar (which will melt) and then dip them again after they are completely cool (don’t use the butter).

These muffins will feel “firm” and dense in your hand, but the insides are moist, chewy and perfectly delicious!

Mmmm – moist, chewy and soooo flavorful!

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