Thursday, September 1, 2011

Strawberry Margarita Mini Muffins

You know how for the past week you've been wondering what to do with the rest of that strawberry drink mix you bought for the Strawberry Margarita Cake (by the way, the definitive answer is add tequila and ice)?  Well you're in luck because I used up some of that mix to develop this tasty recipe for a wonderful batch of mini muffins that are the perfect size for this intensely flavored batter.

Why, yes, I did say I developed this recipe.  Earlier this year I picked up a copy of Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman.  This is a great book for bakers and cooks in general.  Ruhlman breaks down standard foods into their basic structures (i.e., muffins are just a combination of flour, liquid, egg and fat) and provides you with the ratio of each ingredient for a particular item. Then he tells you how to use those basic ratios to come up with your own recipes, using your own flavors. It's actually less of a recipe and more of an equation.  And for geeky bakers like me, it explains why I can add flour, milk, eggs and butter one way and get bread and then add those same ingredients another way and get pancakes.

Ruhlman is also a big advocate of using a scale to measure ingredients by weight rather than traditional measures of volume.  This allows more accuracy in the ratio of ingredients as, according to Ruhlman and other things I've read, a standard "cup" of flour can be anywhere from 4 to 6 ounces and the difference can play a big part in a recipe's success or flop.  You'll notice going forward that I'll be listing ingredients by weight, volume or both, depending on what I find is necessary for that recipe.  If you don't already have one, consider investing in a standard kitchen scale.  Next week I'll show you my scale, why I like it, how I use it, and where I got it.

I was thrilled with how these turned out for my first original recipe without a pre-packaged mix.  The mini muffin was the perfect size for the strong strawberry flavor--as a full sized muffin they would have been overwhelming.  Although I wish more of the lime flavor had come through, the only change I would make is to add a light rum glaze, maybe with a little lime zest, for a drizzle on the top.  And the recipe makes a LOT of mini muffins, so cutting this in half would be perfectly fine.  These would be a fun treat for a baby shower (expecting a girl, of course) or just to take into the office.  Instead of a rum glaze, a powdered sugar glaze with lime juice (or zest), would make these very appropriate for a little girl's birthday party as well--just tell the little ladies they are strawberry-lime mini muffins.

Strawberry Margarita Mini Muffins


8 ounces flour
4 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 ounces bottled strawberry-flavored margarita drink mix
2 eggs
4 ounces (one stick) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 lime

Set a medium bowl on your scale and set the scale to zero.  Add flour until the display reads 8 ounces.  Then add sugar until display reads 12 ounces total (adding only 4 ounces of sugar).  Note: You could also weigh out your flour and sugar separately, then add to the bowl, but that is an extra step.  Add salt and baking powder and whisk together.

In a larger bowl, add drink mix, eggs, and the zest and juice of the lime.  Whisk together and slowly add the melted butter, constantly whisked to temper the eggs and prevent curdling.

Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir to combine.

Using a small cookie scoop, scoop muffin batter into a greased mini muffin tin.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-11 minutes, until muffins spring back when touched and before they begin to brown.

The missing muffin isn't a casualty.  I started transferring to the cooling racks before I took the photo.

Cool in pan for a minute then remove to cool completely on rack.  Once cool, top with optional glaze of your choosing.

Makes 4 dozen mini muffins.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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