Coffee Time Gems

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt.
Mix these dry ingredients and whisk together.
In a separate bowl add,
1 beaten egg
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 TBLS. melted butter
2 tsp. powdered espresso or powdered coffee
Combine these ingredients and whisk to dissolve coffee.
Add all at once to dry ingredients. Don’t over-beat.
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Growing up, my Grandma, whom I adored, was always on a quest for the perfect bran muffin, the perfect coffee cake, and the perfect banana bread. She was a fine baker. A really wonderful cook. And, she was always very generous when it came to her kitchen, allowing any of us grandchildren to rifle through her cupboards, pull out her ample stash of muffin tins or bake-ware, and have a go at creating recipes. She was (and still is) my biggest inspiration in the kitchen. Not a trained chef, no top-notch culinary background, but boy could she cook! A few things I learned? Patience, accurate measuring, and always, always, select the best ingredients. Butter and good chocolate could always be found in her larder. An excellent selection of spices and herbs were lined up and sealed tightly in their glass bottles just waiting to become a pinch of this or a pinch of that. You could always count on finding buttermilk and sour cream and freshly squeezed lemon juice in her fridge.
When it came to ingredients for a recipe that we kids were determined to try or if art materials were needed to draw, sculpt or paint something, we had full access to her shelves and cupboards for supplies. Thank you, Grandma, for your grace and willingness to encourage all of us to ‘make things’. I think all of your grandchildren have a knack for creating, thanks to you! I’m still using many of her recipes. Those large index cards all hand-written and often smudged with some of the choice ingredients. I love all the side notes she added, “add a pinch of lemon zest” or “include a dollop of sour cream” or “don’t over-beat the batter”. When I am creating something, for the table or in the studio, I always think of my grandmother.
I just made these little yummy muffins the other day. Not her tried and true bran muffins but a favorite from my Gram’s recipe book. So glad I remembered them! Chock full of raisins, just the right amount of chopped walnuts, and a strong coffee flavor. Delish! Give them a try, really you should! Do you have any recipes that have been passed down from a special cook in the family?

13 comments on “

  1. Lovely, lovely, lovely! My mouth is watering. Chefs and professional cooks have their place. We admire and respect them. But so so home cooks, who fill their homes with love and good things to eat. My own mother was a terrific baker, and I often think of all the wonderful things she baked.

    • Have you ever read, ‘A thousand Years Over A hot Stove’ by Laura Schenone? A good read about the history of women and cooking…from fire to range top! So many good stories of good cooking we all have!

  2. My grandmother made the most fantastic donuts. When my cousin and I were very young, we would stand quietly by waiting for the donut holes to be rolled in sugar and offered to us. If she left the kitchen, we would grab a few extra off the counter. You can get tummy cramps from too many donut holes! We didn’t care.

  3. Baked beans..My great aunt taught me. Just add sugar and Colmans English mustard and salt pork. No measurements, taste and when the mustard “bites your tongue” put in oven and watch till the top looks right. I’m asked to bring it but I think it will die out with me! I’ve tried to show it the way I was but no one seems to have caught on. My sis swears I’m not telling her everything.

    • Great story and thank you for sharing!! Love, love , love homemade baked beans!!! How wonderful for you to have been given the recipe and I sure hope someone is able to carry it forward!

  4. My mom was a great cook, and she taught me how to cook many things. My favorites are chicken and dumplings (the fluffy ones) and her biscuits. We always use White Lily flour for both. I’m definitely going to try your muffin recipe. Is the timing for rregular size or mini muffin pans?

    • Hi Lynn,
      Regular size tins. Oh boy, chicken and dumplings…another favorite of mine and most definitely should be made with those scrumptious fluffy dumplings…the ultimate comfort food!

  5. This topic got people going! I love thinking about my grandmother’s cooking and, especially, baking. She made sour milk cookies that were so perfect–I’ve tried a zillion recipes since she died and none of them taste right . . . And I just requested, from the library, the book you mentioned –it sounds great!

  6. Finally made these today. Wonderful, not too sweet. As usual, some substitutions according to what’s on hand; craisins instead of raisins, yogurt instead of sour cream, pecans great with the coffee flavor. Thank you for sharing.

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