I'm a little fond of muffins. Not necessarily for their taste or texture, or even their abundant flavours and sizes. Mostly I'm fond of them for they led me to love.
You see, twelve years ago, upon returning home from living in the South of France, I took a job working in a coffee shop to earn a little post-Europe cash. I wanted to spend some time with my family and - let's be honest here - party with my friends. I had really taken to the food culture abroad and thought I may want to work in the industry, so I decided to start in a coffee shop that sold 35 muffin varieties and didn't require working weekends (allowing more time for honing my social skills!).
What was supposed to be a six month employment stint turned into a two-year pleasure. I loved the people I worked with, took delight in the introduction to catering and enjoyed all aspects of the job. I was also quite taken with the customers. I was flabbergasted by just how loyal coffee customers were and I began to look forward to regular visits from some wonderful, eclectic people each day. Especially one person in particular.
He started coming for coffee once a day and within a month of our first chat he was a perfectly developed caffeine addict making three or four purchases daily. Five minute chats led to fifteen minute conversations, which eventually led to a date (six months later!) that evolved into a home, a family and a marriage. Yes, I was the coffee girl and Rob was my customer.
In honor of him, and us, I made these muffins. I came across this recipe almost three years ago and love it just as much now as I did then. It's a Lucy Waverman recipe from Food and Drink magazine and I've only adjusted it slightly, for I like to indulge in just a little more maple flavouring than the original. Dense and perfect in tastiness, the maple and raisin combination is very reminiscent of a butter tart.
All those years ago I used to sneak Rob little bags of muffins for his afternoon office snack. Today, he just pops into the kitchen - our kitchen - to pick up his nourishment. Thank you, muffins!
Butter Tart Muffins, slightly adapted from Lucy Waverman
Yield: 12 muffins Prep Time: 15 minutes Bake Time: 15 mintes
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sugar, butter, eggs, milk, vanilla and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in raisins and let cool in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder in a small mixing bowl. Add the raisin mixture and mix well. Fill lightly greased muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 14 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and brush the tops with maple syrup.