I have seen numerous posts around the blog-o-sphere for back to school; apples, school supply cakes, gifts for teachers, etc. Lovely, all of it, lovely ideas. But lets have some real talk from the point of view of the teacher – back to school stinks. I know parents around the world rejoice because their children are out of the house and back in school all day. Vacation is over, I now have to get out of bed before six am everyday and I no longer have the luxury of lazy days.
By no means do I wish to imply that I dislike my job, I love being a teacher, to be perfectly honest it’s an exciting time of the year. I love buying new school supplies and picking out the perfect first day of school outfit! But, and this is a large but, not working trumps working. And I want a few days to mourn the end of vacation.
Andddddddddd, it’s not like teachers spend all of their vacation on the beach or sleeping in or watching crap TV, we learn, we plan, and most importantly we are professionally developed. If you’ve never sat in a room with a bunch of teacher who are supposed to be paying attention, you’re missing out! We teachers, at least my staff, know how to have fun! After two days of complicated instructions on a new computer program we are rolling out this fall, I knew our team needed a boozy breakfast treat for the last day of professional development.
These muffins are going to kick off my back-to-school series of foods teachers want to eat! Apples are lovely, booze is better.
New roommate Andrea called these cupcakes. “Andrea,” I said, “These are not cupcakes, these are muffins. Cupcakes have frosting, these have glaze.” I don’t mean to sound like a brat, but you can’t eat cupcakes for breakfast, so we really must call them muffins, don’t you understand? These muffins are marvelous! Usually a nut cake/muffin/bread is dry, but not these babies. The walnuts are really pronounced in flavor and texture. And best of all, the muffins are super moist. The glaze is amazing! It’s sticky and sweet and has the perfect hint of coffee from the Kahlua, it’s like all of your breakfast foods in one bite. If you or your colleagues need a pick-up in the morning, make so yourself some boozy muffins!
Walnut Kahlua Muffins
Adapted from The Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker, page 26
Yield – 19 muffins
2 cups finely ground walnuts
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Grind or finely chop the walnuts. You want them powdery, but some small chunks worked fine.
- Whisk together the walnuts, flour, powder, and salt.
- Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until pale yellow using the paddle attachment.
- Separate the eggs and place the whites in another mixing bowl. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Beat in the vanilla.
- On low speed add in the dry ingredients in 3 batches with the milk in between. Scrape the bowl as needed. Remove the bowl from the mixer and set aside.
- Using a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold in half of the egg whites into the batter and then fold in the second half of the egg whites.
- Use a standard size ice cream scoop to distribute the batter between 19 lined muffin cups.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes and then allow to cool on a wire rack. Poke 7 holes in the top of each muffin with a toothpick.
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup, grade B
1/3 cup Kahlua
2 tablespoons water
19 walnut halves or pieces
- Add the sugar, syrup, Kahlua, and water to a small sauce pan. Allow to heat and boil for about 5 minutes. The glaze should thicken into a syrup like consistency.
- Let cool slightly and then apply to the muffins.
- Use a pastry brush to coat the muffins 3 times and then place a walnut half on each. Apply 2-3 more coats of glaze.