Sunday, June 14, 2009

Texas Jack Muffins

This recipe is an adaptation of the Sailor Jack muffins, which seem to be native to the Pacific Northwest. These moist, spicy muffins are turned upside down and then while still slight warm drizzled with a light glaze. I first encountered Sailor Jacks in the bakery inside Sherm's Thunderbird market in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I didn't see them again for years until I found them in a market bakery in Eugene, Oregon. I've never seen an "official" recipe, though many others have tried to recreate it just as I have. My version has a few ingredients I'm quite sure aren't in the original Sailor Jack recipe, so in recognition of the southern fondness for pecans and coconut, I've named these in honor of Texas Jack Omohundro - famous cowboy and western scout.

Preheat the oven to 375° F
Prepare a 12 cup muffin pan with no-stick cooking spray.

Place in a blender:
1 c. uncooked oats
2 T. molasses
½ c. golden raisins
1¼ c. boiling coffee (or water if the chuck wagon’s out of coffee)
Allow mixture to stand 20 minutes, then process at a medium speed just until the oatmeal and raisins are chopped up. You don’t want to lose the texture totally.

With a mixer beat together:
½ c. softened Smart Balance
½ c. dark brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 t. aromatic bitters*
1 egg
Pour the oatmeal mixture into the bowl and stir gently.

Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the moist mixture and stir in – don’t beat or the muffins will become tough.
1/2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
¼ c. oat bran
1 t. soda
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. allspice
1 t. nutmeg
½ t. ground cloves
¼ t. ground ginger

When the dry ingredients have been well blended fold in
½ c. chopped pecans
½ c. shredded coconut
Have an additional half cup of each available for garnishing the tops after glazing.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan. This recipe makes 12 full muffin cups.
Bake the muffins until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 23 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack upside down to prepare for glazing. Glaze doesn’t soak in well on the top surface, but if you prefer your muffins “right side up” the glaze will still be decorative and add a little flavor. Sprinkle a little coconut and chopped pecans on each muffin while the glaze is still moist.

1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional - some have only a plain sugar glaze with no flavor)
1 teaspoon milk
Mix all the ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the partially cooled muffins. The glaze should soak in about 50%, with some remaining on the surface.

The bitters is optional, but does add a special tang that no other spice can match! Increase the amount to suit your taste.

This recipe was updated 3/23/2012 to reduce the sugar.

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