Do you have a favorite comfort food? I must require a lot of comfort because I have more of them than I care to admit. Sometimes when I’m stressed out I absolutely need ice cream and nothing else will suffice. Other times I want something savory, warm and full of carbs like pizza or a big bowl of cheesy pasta. And then sometimes it’s not so much about what I want to eat; it’s about what I want to make.
The kitchen has become my sanctuary; a place that I turn to when I need to escape from the world around me. It’s a place where I can be both creative and methodical. I can work without thinking and invent something entirely new while in the zone.
There’s a certain zen to baking muffins that I find incredibly soothing and I’m not entirely sure why. It may be because they’re so formulaic. Muffins are very forgiving. They are adaptable. They can be taken in an infinite number of directions. Fresh from the oven, muffins are like soft, warm pillows. Tasty, buttery pillows.
I especially love adding brown butter to muffins. It adds such an incredible depth of flavor and richness. But if you prefer to keep things more simple you can just melt the butter without browning it and use it exactly the same way in the recipe.
Because there’s so much butter in this recipe, I prefer using Almond Breeze in place of regular milk. You can certainly use dairy if that’s your preference but almond milk works wonderfully here. These muffins are delicate and moist with just the right amount of sweetness.
- ½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1½ cups (7½ ounces) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (3½ ounces) sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 ripe nectarines, finely diced
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk, such as Almond Breeze
- brown sugar for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups or grease the pan with baking spray.
- To prepare the brown butter, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. As the butter melts, whisk it frequently until foam begins to appear. Once you see the foam, whisk constantly until the butter begins to brown and it smells nutty and fragrant. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. (Note: butter can go from brown to burnt very quickly so do not leave it unattended).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir in the chopped nectarines and make sure they don't clump together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, milk and brown butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Don't overwork the batter; some lumps are fine.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on top of each muffin.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the tops are starting to brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Disclaimer: I was paid to develop a recipe for Blue Diamond Almond Breeze. As always, all opinions are my own!email. You can also follow me via RSS, Facebook and Twitter.