(Dulce de Leche Muffins)
Adapted and translated from directoalpaladar.com
Here we arrive at another sticky spot. What’s the difference between a magdalena and a muffin? Both have a similar shape and essentially the same ingredients though in different proportions. Muffins, in general, have more butter and less baking powder; the batter for the magdalenas is beaten more so the magdalenas tend to be more spongy and fluffy. I don’t know if I prefer one over the other as I like both and they each bring back their own memories in my mind. Background aside, as a good Argentinean, I love dulce de leche and one day I thought “I wonder if there are any recipes for magdalenas de dulce de leche.” I searched online and found this recipe. Hope you enjoy!
Yields 8 magdalenas
- 85 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 40 grams brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 60 grams dulce de leche + extra for topping
- 100 grams flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line a muffin tin with muffin cups.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until well combined.
- Beat in the egg and later add the milk and dulce de leche while continuing to beat.
- Add the sifted flour and baking powder. Fold in using a spatula until well combined.
- Fill the prepared muffin cups with the batter. Top with a teaspoonful of dulce de leche.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. They will have risen and will be slightly golden; a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
Comments: This is an incredibly simple recipe that you can easily whip up in under a half hour for a good after school or weekend snack. They are great warm, straight out of the oven. They are not exceedingly sweet, which was something I feared since my mom tends to not like overly sweet things. Because of this, I did not fill them with more dulce de leche but you can when you are filling the muffin cups with the batter and before topping them with dulce de leche. You can always spread some more dulce de leche right before eating them. They are VERY spongy and soft. I have some suggestions for dulce de leche brands. My favorite (La Salamandra) no longer exists, unfortunately. I think my second favorite would be Havanna. My mom’s favorite is San Ignacio but there’s also La Serenísima and Sancor. If you’re in the U.S., World Market also sells one that’s called Gaucho Ranch from Miami, which is decent. Trader Joe’s also sells one imported from Spain that I haven’t tried. Keep in mind that the latter two are not Argentinean. Whatever you do, DON’T buy cajeta, which is from Mexico and made with goat’s milk; it tastes completely different.
Waiting for the tops to fill with holes
Adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz
Here is another British classic, perfect for breakfast or for your 5 o’clock tea. This is light, fluffy sort of yeasty bread. The perfect cookie cutters for these are 3¾-inch ones. It would be perfect if you had more than one to make the process quicker; I do not have a round cookie cutter with the appropriate size so I use a heart-shaped one that makes the crumpets extra cute (but does take a while). Recently, I started seeing crumpets in many supermarkets and, since I love them so much, I wanted to try them. Nonetheless, we all agreed that these homemade crumpets are a lot better than the store-bought ones. I hope you love these crumpets as much as I do.
Yields 8 crumpets
What will be the bottom of the crumpet and cooking what will be the top
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup milk of your choice (I used almond milk)
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast and slat until combined. Add the milk and melted butter and whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm, dark place for about 1½ hours until puffy and risen.
- Grease the crumpet rings or cookie cutters (suggestions in the introduction) and a skillet or griddle. Heat the skillet or griddle. Stir down the mixture. Place the crumpet ring(s) on the skillet or griddle and pour a little less than 1/3 cup of batter into the ring. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes until the tops fill with holes. Using tongs, carefully remove the crumpet rings and flip the crumpets over. Now, the top should have a nice golden brown color and the bottom should be pale. Cook for about 5 more minutes until the bottom is somewhat browned. Repeat until the batter is used up.
Comments: When you are going to eat the crumpets, you can pop them in the toaster until they are golden brown. This is why crumpets have a paler side. Since I don’t like to toast my bread too much, I often heat the crumpets in the microwave for about 15 seconds so that the topping becomes nice and melted. Of course, the traditional way of eating crumpets is with butter or clotted cream and jam. As I said in the scones recipe, I like them with dulce de leche.
Crumpet with dulce de leche!
Hot out of the oven!
Adapted and Translated from Doña Lola: El arte de la mesa by Lola P. De Pietranera
Scones are a staple of the classic English tea. In my family, they mean Sunday high tea. We have been making these scones for as long as I can remember. They have just the right hint of sweetness for you to add the jam or topping you like. They are easy and pretty quick to make.
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 tbsp of baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 150 g butter (cut into small squares for easier mixing)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of milk
- Preheat oven to 350F (176C)
- Mix together the dry ingredients.
- Here comes the fun part: add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix them together by hand until well blended.
- Beat the egg with a wire whisk in the cup you used to measure the flour. Fill to the 1-cup mark with milk. Add the egg and milk to the previous mixture.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1-centimeter thickness. With a 5-centimeter (2-inch) round cookie cutter, cut out scones (I get about 32). Arrange them on a greased cookie sheet. Leave some space between the scones.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. They should be slightly golden; if they still seem pale, take them out of the oven and check for lightly browned bottoms.
Comments: These are best served hot out of the oven. To keep them warm, we have always wrapped them in a dishtowel in a basket. Traditionally, scones are eaten with butter or clotted cream and jam. However, in my sincere and very Argentine opinion, there is nothing better than scones (or crumpets, for that matter) with dulce de leche. (La Salamandra is the best dulce de leche brand, followed by San Ignacio. Don’t eat La Lechera, that isn’t the real stuff.)
Ready to bake
Scone with dulce de leche