When it comes to New Years... I'm not too big on whole "I'm gonna be a better person" or "i'm gonna eat healthy" or "I'm gonna do something great this year" switch that seems to get hit everytime our calenders restart and January rears its head back into our lives. Not that I'm against anyone who does do that. In fact, if it really does help you to set goals for yourself every year -- be my guest and do it man. I'll be right here rooting you on (yeah! eat those veggies!)
But as for me... setting goals at the start of the year makes me feel like, if I should need an exact date to change something important about myself, to better myself as a person, then why even bother at all? I should be wanting to do that every day. I should be wanting to treat my family nice all the time. I should be wanting to show the people I love that I love them every day. I should be eating healthy because It's good for me, not because I have to shed off all the pounds I may have gained by eating a cookie or two (or five). I shouldn't need one day out of the year to be the starting point of becoming the person I want to be. And really, I just feel like I'm setting myself up for failure more than anything else. Because when I make resolutions, I tend to go the "welp, there goes that" approach and just give up altogether. Well, not this year!
Instead of sitting here thinking of ways to better myself this year... I'll just keep doing what I've been doing. Trying to follow God as best that I can, being the person He wants me to be, and in the process treating everyone I love with the respect and care that they have given me. I'll count my blessings and instead about worrying of what will come three or two months from now, focus on today.
And most of all, I will keep baking whatever I friggin' want -- healthy resolutions or not!
And I am totally not saying that just because these muffins are probably one of the most delicious things to have ever graced my kitchen. Not even joking with you.
All new years talk aside... these muffins are amazing. I can't even begin to explain to you how good these are. They have even converted a muffin hater like myself to be tempted for another bite.
These are definitely no ordinary cinnamony/sugar muffins. They have a beautiful depth of buttery flavor that comes from browning the butter in a saucepan until the butter is a nice bronze, emitting a wonderful nutty aroma that will make you want to shove your face in the saucepan (disclaimer: I am by no way responsible for any known injuries if you actually do this) and forget the muffins altogether. But please, please refrain from doing so. Because these muffins are just too good to pass up. And don't you even think of using plain, normal butter. Brown butter is definitely the way to go with these babies.
Not only that, but they have a gorgeous cinnamon sugar crust on top. While you could do a crumble crust, or just simply sift some powdered sugar over the muffins instead once they've cooled -- the crust really does make for a simple and elegant presentations and a wonderful crunch right before you hit the soft, slightly dense snickerdoodley crumbs that lay underneath; truly living up to its name as a "Snickerdoodle Muffin".
So if you're not totally sick of the holiday sweets, and you've got a soft spot for snickerdoodles (we're all big snickerdoodle lovers in my family), make these! And if you really don't trust yourself around them but still want to make them, do what I did and give them to your awesome neighbors as a New Years gift. Ten bucks says as soon as they smell the warm, cinnamon fragrance coming from these babies, they aren't gonna dare turn them down.
Or you could just hog them all to yourself and love them and call them George. Your call.
(Adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)
Makes about 12 normal muffins and 20ish mini muffins.
1 stick unsalted butter, browned (see directions for instructions on browning butter)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon mixed together for topping (optional)
1. First, to brown your butter, get out a non-stick saucepan and set the heat on medium-low. Stick your stick (hah) of butter inside the pan and let melt completely. Butter should start foaming up on top, which will make it hard to see if it is "browning" or not. Don't worry, if this happens, determine if it's done or not by smell. As soon as the butter begins to starts to emit a nutty smell, give it a stir or two with your fork. It may start bubbling (thats ok). Keep the butter over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes after it starts to smell nutty. Stir again and let it bubble for a little longer, about 1 minute or so. You should see a bit of caramelization on the sides of the saucepan building up, and the smell should be getting stronger and more "caramel"-y. When this happens, take the saucepan off the heater and let cool. The foam will die down and you should be left with a glorious bronze color. If your butter does not foam (some dont) then just wait for the butter to get a bronze color before pulling it off the saucepan.
2. After browning your butter, LET IT COOL COMPLETELY. This is important because we do NOT want hot butter to go with the eggs as they will start cooking.
3. Preheat your oven to 375F degrees, spraying a paper-lined 12 cup muffin or 2 mini muffin tins with nonstick spray.
4. In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and cinnamon.
5. In your mixing bowl (the one that will hold your muffin batter), take a whisk and whisk together the sugar, eggs, COOLED brown butter, vanilla, milk, and sour cream. Do not over whisk. It's okay if there are a few lumps from the sour cream.
6. Add flour mixture and whisk in JUST UNTIL there are no signs of flour left. Once again, DO NOT OVERMIX. It's okay if the batter is lumpy -- it's suppose to be.
7. If using the sugar and cinnamon topping mix, GENEROUSLY cover the top of each muffin with the mix (about a heaping tablespoon for each).
8. Bake muffins at 375F for 15-20 minutes, sticking a toothpick in the middle of one of the muffins to check for doneness (in other words, the toothpick should come out with only a few moist crumbs). Take out and cool muffins on wire wrack.
9. Muffins can be frozen and then warmed in the oven or microwave if desired. These are best served warm and out of the oven with a strong cup of coffee.