Sunday, March 14, 2010

Case Study 55: "The Purple Haze"

Anyone that knows me well is aware of my affinity for all things breakfast.  The fervor with which I approach my day's first meal is unparalleled.   I am so certain of this, that if dinner ceased existing, I still would not have a care in the world.  Just give me a good cozy brekkie, and I'm set for the day, literally.

I'm not quite sure how all of this reverence began, but I've got an inkling that it somehow evolved from a childhood of Sunday mornings spent snuggling in bed with parents and coffee (a ritual that still carries on, despite the fact that our family has grown, and clearly, so have we).  But I'm certain that some of my most lovely life moments have been logged while breakfasting in bed.  Whether it was the sweetness of waking up the mumsy on Mother's Day with french toast and orange juice or day-long nuzzling with bagels, lox, and capers with an old love - let's be honest - dinner in bed? It's just simply not as romantic.

Breakfasts in bed spawned a full on love affair with good boozy brunches with friends.  I'd take the Bloodys, Mimosas, and Pancake-filled ones or the kind where you drag yourself to a diner at 2 pm to grease-cure your hangover any day.  Regardless, I'm convinced that the best/worst "what the hell happened last night?!?" stories are brewed alongside those endless coffee refills poured by the waitress.  I've also never known agony like that of having to peruse a menu containing both breakfast or lunch items.  Let's just say I am the queen of game time decisions.

"The Purple Haze" is a fluffy blueberry pancake cupcake with gooey maple buttercream, a little drizzle of syrup and a sprinkle of raw sugar.  Paired with coffee, bubbly-spiked juice and your best breakfast companion, rainy Sunday mornings are more drool-inducing than ever. 

Most nights, I get excited for breakfast the next day before I go to sleep.  With the passion that some people plan their dinners, so I strategically map out a plan of attack for the most important of daily meals.  Besides, some day, when I have babies in my own bed, I'll have to join the rest of society in perfecting my bella cena for the evening. But regardless, you can bet a stack of silver dollars I'll be passing on the beloved breakfast tradition to them the next morning.

"The Purple Haze"
(Makes 12 muffins)

1 cup skim milk
¼  cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries, rolled in flour

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line one muffin tray.
2. Mix together the milk, applesauce, oil, vanilla and egg whites until combined with a whisk.
3. Add in the dry ingredients with a spoon, just until the flour is coated.  The batter should be lumpy. DO NOT OVERBEAT!
4. Gently fold in blueberries, and fill muffin cups until nearly the top.
5.  Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from tray and let cool completely before frosting.

Maple Buttercream

1 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup
4-6 cups confectioner's (icing) sugar

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla and maple syrup.
2. Add 1 cup confectioner’s sugar and mix until combined, it will be very sticky.
3. Mix in remaining cups of confectioner’s sugar, depending on consistency and preference.
4. Frost cupcakes, and sprinkle raw sugar on top.
5. Serve, preferably on a Sunday morning, and in bed.

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