Today we’re taking a break from all the Christmas celebrations to discuss an odd group of friends, a strange pole and a ‘show about nothing.’ And by now, all you Seinfeld fans are smiling.
It’s been 15 years since the TV series left the air but it’s still very much around in syndication, popular culture and a little made-up holiday called Festivus.
True story: I didn’t particularly like Seinfeld when it first aired.
It’s a bit like a Top 40 radio hit, though. It just kind of creeps into the corners of your subconscious when you’re not paying attention, and the next thing you know, you find yourself humming the latest One Direction hit while you’re scrubbing the bathtub… or spontaneously quoting George Costanza in the middle of a work meeting, in this case.
And somehow, over the last few years, I’ve grown accustomed to it. In fact, I actually kind of like it. OK, I love it.
So when a joking comment someone made on Facebook somehow totally derailed into a hilarious plot to do a Seinfeld-themed series of recipes for Festivus, I totally called dibs on Muffin Tops. Because, even though it’s been years since I last watched the episode, I still giggle maniacally at the whole Top of the Muffin to YOU! scene.
I know that neither cherries nor almonds have any specific Seinfeldian influences, but I really really was craving that particular combination. And I really really needed an excuse to bust open that bag of dried Montmorency cherries I picked up at Trader Joe’s earlier this year in Philly.
And they’re totally awesome, whether you eat them as muffins, or as muffin tops.
(Yes, I know this recipe is totally silly if you just want muffin tops, but Elaine was very clear on this – a truly superior muffin top needs to start off its life as a full-sized muffin before it’s separated from its stump. I am nothing if not a stickler for accuracy.)
- 1½ cups flour
- ½ cup ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 egg
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried tart cherries
- ½ cup sliced blanched almonds
- Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until smooth. Stir in the milk, almond extract and vanilla extract. Add in the dry ingredients, along with the dried cherries, and stir until just barely combined. Distribute batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups, and sprinkle the tops with sliced almonds.
- Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until tops are puffed and golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- To make muffin tops, separate the top from the stump. Eat the tops. Comment to the nearest listener that the top really is the part where the muffin breaks free of the pan and does its own thing.
- Collect the stumps in a garbage bag and discard with the assistance of your friendly neighbourhood Newman.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Festivus awesomeness on these fine blogs:
- Susan from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen is making Marble Rye from “The Rye”
- Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic is making Calzones from “The Calzone”
- Renee from Magnolia Days is making Eggnog Frozen Yogurt from “The Non-Fat Yogurt”
- Isabelle from Crumb is making Cherry Almond Muffin Tops from “The Muffin Tops”
- Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake is making Challah Pretzels from “The Alternate Side”
- Shanna from Pineapple and Coconut is making Lobster Scrambled Eggs with Wasabi Hollandaise and Crispy Leek and Potato Cakes from “The Hamptons”
- Kelli from Kelli’s Retro Kitchen Arts is making a Big Salad from “The Big Salad”
- Kelly from Kelly Bakes is making Mulligatawny Soup from “The Soup Nazi”
- Joan from Chocolate, Chocolate and More is making Cream Puffs from “The Gymnast”
- Marnely from Cooking with Books is making Apple Pie from “The Pie”
- Diane from Created by Diane is making Black and White Cookies from “The Dinner Party”
- Anita from Hungry Couple is making Chocolate Babka from “The Dinner Party”