It seems that the women on my mom's side of the family all have a certain culinary talent. My mom is the Pie Queen. You want a pie or cobbler...you go to mom. My Aunt Marty is awesome at appetizers and Hors d'oeuvres. My Aunt Janey is the Maven of Muffins. I don't know that I've found mine yet...I'd probably say that cookies are my thing, but what I DO know is that my talent is definitely NOT muffins!
Let's back up. If you didn't know, I live in the heart of Bourbon country. There are several distilleries a stone's throw from our house. I love the smell of sour mash. Anyway, a friend of mine who recently moved to DC asked me to buy her some Buffalo Trace Cream Liquor at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. It's the only place you can buy it and it's located in my town. Her mother loves it and she wanted to get some for her for Christmas. So, Friday afternoon, the Munchkin and I headed on over to Buffalo Trace. Well, when we got to the gift shop, I found not only the Cream Booze (as I now call it) but also LOTS of other bourbon goodies. I resisted buying much, but I did pick up a jar of Bourbon Cherry Preserves. On a side note...the people at Buffalo Trace..SO NICE! But people are generally nicer to you when you have a baby. They gave me a ride back to my car when I was done shopping. It wasn't that far, but I was thankful for it since I was carrying quite a bit and also the Munchkin. (You can see some Buffalo Trace pics here.)
So, back to muffins.... Saturday morning I wanted to eat some of my preserves. I did not have any shortening to make biscuits, so I opted to make some muffins. Where else did I look but my family cookbook where there are several of my Aunt Janey's muffin recipes. I chose the Vanilla Muffins (which also have my great Aunt Dot as a contributor). She pairs them with a lemon sauce which looks divine, but I didn't need that and just made the muffins. Well, they turned out to be a hot mess. I'll just tell you. Of course, I now know where I made one mistake and I already know my other mistake...I knew it as soon as I did it. What were my mistakes? For one, I mixed my batter too much...a big no no for muffins. I had a baby trying to climb my leg and I left the stand mixer going to long. That's right...I blame the baby! My other mistake which I didn't realize until I did a little google-ing...the recipe called for "sweet milk." I didn't know what sweet milk was unless it was sweetened condensed milk, but why wouldn't she just say that? And what would you do? Un-Condense it? There's nothing about that on the can. So, I stepped out on a limb and just used sweetened condensed milk...straight out of the can. Oh my goodness, does that ever make for a rich muffin? It turns out that sweet milk is milk with cultures or Acidophilus Milk. You can evidently use whole milk instead. Anyway, when I pulled them out of the oven, they were all sunken in the middle. Which was GREAT for putting cherry preserves in, but I knew they weren't supposed to be that way. Here's a pic:
And that was one of the prettier ones....
Here's a pic of the 2 I ate with the lovely cherry bourbon-y goodness.
If you must know...they were....DIVINE! Michael even loved them. They were perfect with the preserves as well. They were rich and sweet and decadent....and a hot mess. Here's the recipe:
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c butter
2 eggs, separated
1/4 c sweet milk
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
Cream butter and sugar well. Add egg yolks, beat well; add flour, milk and vanilla. Beat the egg whites. Add to other mixture. Fill muffin tins with mixture and bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes (mine were pretty well done between 15 and 20 so check on them periodically).
Of course, if you want sunken Hot Mess Muffins like mine...go with the sweetened condensed milk and you let that stand mixer run....let it run like the wind! If you would like a distraction...I have an ankle biting Munchkin you may borrow. I'm just kidding about the ankle biting...he bites toes. True Story.