Saturday, December 7, 2013

Salted Caramel Muffins

The saga of the House Trauma continues, and we're still not back to normal around here.  It is, however, the holiday season.  Which means baking, even if I have to sort of shoe-horn things around the very tiny space I'm working in.

This year, my eldest daughter moved to the middle school.  It changes up our schedule a bit.  Now, rushing Autistic kids is a recipe for disaster.  But getting her to eat breakfast before the bus comes is a struggle every morning. Muffins, however, are another matter entirely.  This week's version are a quick and easy cheater version that uses pre-made caramel.  I hope you enjoy them.


Salted Caramel Muffins

1/2 can of purchased Dulce de Leche (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 c. + 2 Tbsp Fancy Flour Blend or other GF AP flour OR
1/2 c. millet flour
3/4 c. white rice flour
1/2 c. tapioca flour
1/4 c. sweet rice flour

2 Tbsp potato starch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp guar gum
1/2 c. unsalted butter
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. canola oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. This recipe will make 12-16 muffins, so having a second pan handy for overflow isn't a bad notion.

Place the caramel in a small bowl. I used Nestle's canned dulce de leche, which I usually can find in my grocer's international food aisle:
Stir in salt, 1/8 tsp or so at a time.  Check it after each addition.  I like my caramel salty, so I ended up using about 1/2 tsp.  I'd recommend NOT using iodized salt, as it lends an unpleasant metallic flavor.  Set the caramel aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flours, salt, baking soda, and guar gum.  Whisk to combine.  Set aside.
In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Add oil and mix till well blended.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.  On high speed, beat until combined.  (You can do this in a stand mixer if you like.  Mine was occupied - and I like actually using my vintage Pyrex bowls now and then).
Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, in multiple additions, until everything is incorporated.
 Portion the batter into the muffin cups.  Then add about a 1/2 tsp of the caramel mixture to the top of each muffin.  Swirl with a toothpick.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly browned and dry on top.  Cool and serve.  If you prefer, you could place 1/2 the batter in the cup, the caramel, and then more batter for a filled caramel muffin.

These certainly seemed to hit the spot on a cold, snowy morning at my house.  I hope you and yours enjoy them, too.