Early spring in New England is for tapping. Sap buckets dot the surrounding woodland forests, collecting the precious nectar of the sugar maples. The drip of sweet sugar water can be heard while walking over the crunchy fallen leaves of last season.
Of course we all enjoy pure maple syrup poured over our pancakes, but have you ever tasted a muffin that is sweetened only by the boiled down stored carbohydrates of the magnificent sugar maple?
Pure maple syrup and toasted walnuts are the stars of these muffins. Toasting takes only a few minutes. Your nose will know when they are ready.
The muffins are baked for the typical 20 minute period.
If you want to make these muffins really sing, add a touch of maple icing and more walnuts, of the finely chopped variety.
The sugar maple that stored his sweet energy resides in the background of this picture. Close to a hundred feet tall, it shades the house in the summer and provides us with sap, the product of photosynthesis from the previous summer.
Maple Walnut Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and rough chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with paper cups. Whisk the flour, powder and salt in a bowl. Cream the softened butter with the maple syrup for about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the flour mixture (in three increments) alternately with the milk (in two increments) beginning and ending with flour. Fold in the walnuts.
Fill muffins cups 3/4 full. Makes 12 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
- 11/2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- pinch of salt
Combine first three ingredients in a saucepan and heat until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar and salt. Let cool before drizzling over tops of cooled muffins. Sprinkle with a handful of finely chopped walnuts.