Friday, September 6, 2013

Peach Tea Muffins

You know, sometimes the unthinkable happens, and you end up with a surplus of peaches.

I know, sacrilege! How did this happen?!

Perhaps it was the fact that it's finally fig season!

Perhaps it was the fact that I got distracted by custard apples found in Chinatown...

Perhaps it was the fact that a pluot found its way into my cart...

Perhaps it was the fact that sometimes grapes taste like cotton candy...

No, seriously - they taste EXACTLY like cotton candy. So much so that you can't eat more than five at a time.
My cotton candy snarfing days are behind me I guess.
Whatever it was, I ended up with extra peaches on hand that were in imminent danger of becoming inedibly overripe. That, friends, would obviously be unacceptable. And when one is faced with a cloudy lazy end-of-summer Sunday, there is only one thing to set about: baking.

I wanted something marginally healthy-ish (or at least healthy looking) (a peach pie wasn't going to cut it) but something still gooey that you could sink your teeth into (cookies wouldn't work). And I'm not the biggest fan of crumbles (so difficult to get the right balance of fruit and crumble in a single bite). So after doing a bit of browsing online, I was debating between peach scones and peach muffins. Finally, the delectable cake crumble won out over the scone.

And since I was thinking of making a nice hot cup of Mint Blossom Tea for myself while browsing recipes, I thought - why not add some tea to the muffins? Why not indeed. Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks peach and tea go together in muffins...

Peach Tea Muffins
(adapted from Warm Vanilla Sugar and Joy the Baker Cookbook, with inspiration from The Kitchn)

1 cup tea (bring 1 cup water to a boil, add in 1 tsp loose leaf tea and 1/2 tsp sugar, turn off heat, and add in 2 tbsp milk - if you would like to add some mint flavor, add up to 1 1/2 cup mint leaves) (cooled)
3 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
14 tbsp butter
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp allspice
Zest of 1/2 lemon
3 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches

(makes 24 muffins)

Preheat oven to 350 and line the muffin tin with cupcake liners (in fact, this muffin is quite cake-like - if you added frosting on top it would just go over nicely as a not-too-sweet peach cupcake!).

Cream together the butter and sugars. Mix in the tea (make sure it is completely cooled - I had made mine an hour earlier and put it in the fridge), eggs, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl whisk together the spices, flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add these dry ingredients into the wet, and mix everything together. Fold in the peaches. I cut up my peaches into 1/2 - 1 inch cubes. Any smaller and I think they would disappear too much. This way, you get nice peachy bites when you sink your teeth into these muffins.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners - it should divide equally in 2 cupcake sheets (24 muffins). Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let them cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.


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