MUFFIN Cereal tops-EXTEND BATTER for 12 into 24 with Amaretto-Nut-Chocolate-Dulce de Leche interiors

An aromatic muffin batter with luscious interiors and a last minute experiment.
Desperate attempt to fill cups with excess batter turned into a surprising outcome.

Blend and extend surplus batter to double your muffin quantity.
 Here I go again sharing my innocent baking negligence.
A creative double-duty muffin is born and now part of my repertoire. 

It was some time last year before a Valentine festivity event.
I was to make what I thought would be a good base recipe for about 12 muffins.

I admit to having made these on a tighter schedule than usual.
Although I rarely rush my baking experiences...this was one of those times.

My precious loved ones were waiting for their walk ;o)
Actually, I needed the fresh air to clear my head and nourish my soul probably more than they did.

 Once again in my little baking bubble moment...
I had decided that chocolate and Dulce de Leche should be added to part of the batter.
It certainly would render a scrumptious filling...no doubt on that part ;o)

Even if I was rushing these muffins, my baking experience should have rang troubled bells ahead.

I should have realized that bulking the batter's filling would...
undoubtedly throw off the recipe's quantity for 12 regular (no interior) muffins. 

Oh well, here was another chance to experiment with something new.
But, what to do with the excess batter?  
I admit, I was a little stumped and slightly aggravated by my carelessness.
I really didn't want to fill up only an extra few cups of a second pan and have most lay empty.
I felt it was such a waste of muffin cup real estate.

It was when I was filling the first batch that a thought came to me...cereal flake toppers.
Yes, I thought it might just work.

Now, the only two questions remained:
will the flakes turn out burnt tips...or would they become soggy?

To my delight, they turned out wonderful and creatively charming.  
My worried frown ironed itself out into an elated glow.
I was so pleased with myself that I just couldn't stop bragging about it to Hubby.
I’m a pain that way.  Does he mind?  Yes...but, only until his first bite ;o)

The batter burst in between the cereal flakes...rendering it quite unique.
Next time I'll make the muffins all chocolate so that the contrast would be even more pronounced.

These are truly some of my most precious moments from errors in my ’cucina’.


AMARETTO - NUT muffin cups
with CHOCOLATE and DULCE DE LECHE interiors
topped with CEREAL

yields 24 muffins
(12 regular + 12 cereal flake tops)
Note: this recipe can also be halved very easily since all the ingredient quantities are evenly divisible.

Click HERE for a PRINTER version
(American / Metric measures)
. 2 cups (300g) unbleached, all-purpose flour
. 1 tsp. (5ml) baking powder
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) baking soda
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) salt
. 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar, packed
. 1/2 cup (105g) granulated sugar
. 1/2 cup (70g) roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
. 1 cup (250ml) Buttermilk *
. 2 large eggs
. 1/2 cup (125ml) Amaretto liquor**
. 1/2 cup (125ml) grape seed oil (or other vegetable oil)

. 1/4 cup (55ml) Dulce de Leche
. 1/4 cup (25g) Cocoa powder (dutch processed)

...Topping (for the extra 12 muffins only):
. 1 cup (60g) cereal flakes (I used multigrain)

* Buttermilk (homemade): For about every 1 cup (250ml) needed...first add 1 tbsp. (15ml) of EITHER: lemon juice, white or cider vinegar.  To that, add the rest in milk to complete the volume required.  Let the milk thicken and 'sour' for 10 minutes.   Give it a stir before pouring it into the recipe.
** If LIQUOR is not desired...any flavoured liquid (i.e.: orange juice) can be used in its place.  Adding 1 tbsp.(15ml) of almond extract would also benefit the ultimate result.

Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4
Position rack on 2nd level from the oven bottom.
Prepare two muffin paper cup lined pans.

1...Wet:  In a large, glass measuring cup, prepare the buttermilk and after the 10 minute resting period, add the rest of the WET ingredients.  Set aside momentarily.
2...Dry:  In a large bowl, combine all the DRY ingredients (except nuts) and make a center well.   Afterwards, pour the WET ingredients and whisk until just combined.  Do not over-mix.
3...Filling:  In a medium bowl...pour about 1 cup (500ml) of the above cake batter and blend in the following: Cocoa powder and Dulce de Leche.  Whisk until smooth.  
4...Assembly:   Now, back to the main batter.  Add and stir in the coarsely crushed nuts.
. Prepare two muffin paper cup lined pans.   Generously squirt some canola cooking spray in each paper cup.  Note: do this step ONLY right before pouring the first part of the muffin batter.  This will help the paper peel off better later on.
5. Pour a heaping spoonful of the main cake batter into each muffin cup.
6. Lightly place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each cup.
7. Finish off each cup by pouring the remainder of the main cake batter up to 3/4 of the way.
. Note: Topping for only the 2nd muffin pan:  These remaining cups will have much less batter.  Therefore, evenly separate the batter throughout the 12 remaining cups.  Finish off each surface with a tiny handful of cereal flakes.
8. Bake both pans side by side for no more than 23 minutes if using a dark muffin pan and no more than 25 minutes if using a lighter pan. 
. Remember, that once out of the oven, wait no longer than 2 minutes before pulling them out with a tong and onto a cooling rack. This important step will ensure that the muffins stop baking in order to give you the moist muffins. 
. Tip: If not planning to eat the muffins within the next two days...it's best to freeze them with their paper liners up to one months time.
When re-warming...keep the paper liners on.  Set the oven on very low for about 20 minutes.  Enjoy.

Between heart awareness month, stores full of Valentine decor
how could we not feel all the love in the air. 
Therefore, let's celebrate with treats, lots of hugs and kisses of course ;o)  
No matter how you feel about this somewhat commercial event...
we should all remember how love in any form can enrich our...
lives more than any material object can.  

Have a memorable Valentine celebration everyone.

Ciao for now.  
Mille baci, Foodessa

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.