Although the muffins sounded pretty good as-is, I wanted to add something to make them extra special. Muffins... muffins... crumb topping. YES! That's it. I'll add a crumb topping. What came to mind is this crumb topping I add to my tuna casserole for a nice crunch and some cheese flavor. So I grated some extra cheese on the small holes of a box grater, I added bread crumbs for a little crunch, some cayenne for a little kick, and some flour to coat the cheese and prevent it from sticking together (see recipe).
These muffins were super tasty. Moist, tender and very flavorful. The caramelized onions shined through perfectly, while the flavor of the sage hit your taste buds at the end. The cheese crumb topping was deliciously crunchy, adding another dimension to the muffin's texture. I will definitely make these again and play with different vegetables, herbs and cheeses. They were the perfect accompinament to my Creamy Chicken-Wild Rice-Barley-Veggie soup.
To all my fellow SMS bakers, I would like to extend a big Thank You for baking along with me this week. Check out the blogroll to see how the other SMS ladies did this week.
- Hubby hasn't had a chance to try these so I will report back later on what he thought, assuming I can get him to try some. He was a bit weirded out by the thought of a non-sweet muffin. I'm hoping that since it's spicy he'll at least try, since he likes spicy food.
- I cut the recipe in half and baked only 6 muffins, fearing I'd be eating 12 muffins by myself otherwise. Having tasted them, I wish I had made 12 after all. They're that good!!
- Check out this week's P&Q section as there are lots of ideas posted on these muffins, including some info on how to caramelize onions.
- My changes and notes to the recipe can be found below in the color maroon.
- I have included step-by-step pictures below. Enjoy!
Savory muffins: Caramelized Onion, Sage and Cheddar Muffins
from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
Yields: 12 muffins
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tsp teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (doubled this)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (used 80% butter, 20% extra-virgin olive oil)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature (used 2% milk)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (used shredded colby jack cheese + extra for crumb topping)
- 1 cup chopped caramelized onions (+ 1 tsp finely chopped garlic)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- ~1/3 cup loosely packed finely shredded cheese
- ~2 tbsp bread crumbs
- 1 tsp of all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- Toss together until cheese is coated and set aside.
Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with muffin papers (or butter and flour the cups or spray them with nonstick vegetable cooking spray). I used Pam spray with flour and no muffin liners.
Chop 2 medium onions and sautee them in a nonstick pan with half the salt, half the black pepper and half the cayenne pepper from the recipe. Half way through cooking, add the finely copped garlic. Cook until fully caramelized; about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and sugar.
In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, (extra-virgin olive oil) and eggs. Whisk in the heavy cream and milk until combined.
Add the cheese, sage, and caramelized onions to the flour mixture, and gently toss with your fingers to coat. Make a well in the center. Pour the butter mixture into the center of the well and, using a rubber spatula, gently pull the flour mixture into the center of the well until just combined. Muffin batter will be thick at this point.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups (using a large, spring-loaded ice cream scoop), filling each cup until full. If using, top each muffin with a little bit of the cheese crumb topping.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the enter comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Mine were fully baked after only 20 minutes so watch them closely.
Serve warm or at room temperature. The muffins are best eaten the day they are made, but they can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and kept for 2 days at room temperature. For longer storage, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 3 weeks. Defrost still wrapped at room temperature.