Sunday, January 23, 2011

Walnut Onion Muffins

This is probably the best savory muffin I have ever made or eaten.  It's a recipe I've been making for over 20 years, it's easy and quick and so damn tasty!  It goes great as a side with soup or stew, or eaten with a good piece of cheese.  I even made a grilled cheese sandwich with it last week when I made them in a loaf form.  Neil said it was "over the top" but it didn't stop him from inhaling it!

When I first started collecting recipes from magazines and newspapers I would cut them out and paste them onto a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.  I used to work for a food consultant ages ago and when I had down time would go through his extensive cookbook collection and photocopy recipes that interested me.  All this to say I have no idea where this came from all I know is the recipe itself is attributed to New York Chef Waldy Malouf.  I have adapted and suggested a few other variations if you are feeling daring!

Walnut Onion Muffins

Preheat the oven to 400 F for muffins 375 F for the loaf.

I use a food processor for this, but certainly feel free to do it all by hand it you want.

In the bowl of the food processor add 8 ounces of Walnuts (or Pecans) 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 1/2 cups of Bread Flour (All Purpose will work in a pinch but you'll get a more cake like muffin.  Also I sometimes use a cup of white flour and 1/2 cup of whole wheat).  Process the mixture until the nuts are well ground - it's up to you if you want to have the nuts fine or more chunky, both are good, I like it finer so I process it well.

Remove the dry ingredients from the processor bowl into a large mixing bowl.  Replace the food processor bowl and add 1 large or 2 medium onions (you want 1 cup of onion puree so guess as best as you can).   Puree the onions.  Measure out one cup of puree and set aside.

In a sauce pan melt one stick of unsalted butter (1/2 cup) pour the melted butter into a mixing bowl and add 5 Tablespoons of sugar, stir to mix then add 2 large eggs and whisk until well incorporated.  Add the 1 cup of onion puree and stir to incorporate.   Pour this wet mixture, all at once, into the dry ingredients and stir until it is well mixed.

You can makes these as mini muffins (makes about 36) or one loaf, in both cases the pans should be well buttered and in the case of the loaf I often line it with parchment.  I have a metal loaf tin that is not the standard size, it's 4 1/2"  x 12" I prefer it to the 5 x 9" loaf pan I used to always use.  The thing I like about it is how long the loaf is, making the slices smaller and more elegant (or at least so I think).  Feel free to use what ever you have, just be aware that the 5 x 9 loaf with take a little longer to bake.  Like most baked goods they are done when the top is nicely browned and a tester comes out clean.
Bake the muffins/loaf in the center of the preheated oven turning once at the half way point.  Muffins take about 20 minutes the loaf anywhere from 45-60 minutes (at 375 F if you find the top is getting to brown and the center is not yet cooked cover gently with some tin foil).
Cool on a wrack.  Your family and your guests will LOVE these and you'll wish you made more!  The reason I don't have a picture of the loaf version is because we ate it so fast it was gone before I remembered to get a picture.

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