The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perelman, page 12, plum poppy seed muffins.
I'm supposed to be heading outside to rake leaves with the hour I have before it's time to retrieve the girl from school, but you people need to know what just happened - what is still happening - in my kitchen. You. Need. To. Know.
I don't know why this particular recipe jumped out at me more than any other as the first recipe that I wanted to tackle out of this cookbook's exceedingly generous devotion to breakfast. Perhaps it was the intriguing anecdote surrounding peeling poppy seeds out of lemon's grasp, perhaps it was the adorable photo of her little baboushka biting into a plum, perhaps it was the idea of eating a muffin containing brown butter, flour and yogurt after two weeks of ridding my body of said delicacies. Whatever the case, this is what I settled on today.
First, I browned the butter until it smelled rich and nutty. Then, while that cooled, I went about the business of preparing the rest of the batter. Everything went according to the usual plan of muffin making, until I added the butter. The butter gets added to a mixture of eggs, sugar and sour cream/yogurt while it's still a bit warm. As I poured it in and began to stir…WHAM!!! My olfactory neurons were slam-banged with the aroma of I have no idea what but oh my god I want to smell this smell for the rest of my life. The combination of brown butter and sugar and yogurt becomes this other-worldly experience that I could have gone my entire life missing had it not been for this cookbook, and this recipe.
And then. After spending a few moments with my nose in the bowl, inhaling deeply, it was time to add the dry ingredients. And, if you can believe it, one stir in I was walloped by a smell even more divine than the last! Poppy seeds? Could it be??? I never considered them to have a discernable flavour of their own, merely a delightful crunch and an embarrassing tendency to linger between my teeth. But oh my word I'm going bake these muffins every day for the rest of my life.
Please, go out and buy this cookbook, or borrow it from a friend. But not from me, I'm not letting go of this baby for a while yet. Of course, you're more than welcome to come over and bake them in my kitchen. Every single day. Forever.