I know I have said this before, but food has magical powers – that is until there is a force that breaks those powers. I haven’t seen it happen very often, but it does. Why is it so important when you go to a all day meeting that there is good food to eat? That’s because often, it puts you in a better mood. You come back from lunch refreshed and ready to tackle anything – only then to look forward to snack time.
Normally my meetings have nothing to do with food – which is why it is such a treat every year to attend the Food Blogger’s conference. Not only do you talk about food, listen to other people lecture about food – there is food EVERYWHERE. It is quite something. This year things were just a little different though. The conference started on a Friday night – with a wonderful reception and the gift suite. I brought home lots of great stuff to share with the family – snacks and treats galore – but I wasn’t staying at the hotel. The next day they started us out with breakfast sponsored by Noosa Yoghurt. Now, if you haven’t had Noosa Yoghurt yet, you are truly missing out. I have been eating it for months now, and it is leaps and bounds better than any yoghurt I have ever had in the United States – it is closer to the wonderful yoghurt I can find in Europe. So, needless to say, I was in my glory. They had tons of toppings out for us so I went to town – and that pumpkin yogurt was just like eating pumpkin pie filling. I was ready to sit and listen to people talk about food for hours.
After a few hours of that, I was actually hungry again – and I forgot to bring the snacks with me from the night before. I was with hundreds of foodies – was I the only one that was hungry? There was 4 hours in between breakfast and lunch, and I hate to say it, but that is just too long for me to wait. I eat every couple of hours. It is the only way for me to stay sane during the day. Well, fortunately I ran out and bought myself a snack to keep me going, but I was definitely surprised by the whole thing. I have to admit, that was the only part of the weekend that I was hungry in the least bit. The rest of the weekend they kept the food coming. Let me remind you how hard it is to watch a food demo when you are hungry…
That brings me back to these muffins. My daughter loves muffins in the morning because they are quick and easy. I have a different rational. I can eat a couple of hard boiled eggs for my first breakfast, then have a muffin for my mid-morning snack. Boy is life good when that happens. Magic. Fortunately for me, my daughter’s did not like these muffins from Cooking Light – but my husband and I LOVED them – they were mildly sweet with a touch of bacon on top. OMG. And I used margarine instead of butter, so they were dairy-free. Now, if only I could just snap my hands and make those muffins appear…now that would be magic.
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3 applewood-smoked bacon slices
- 3 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 7.9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup Guinness Stout or other stout beer
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil; place a wire rack on the baking sheet.
To prepare streusel, combine 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons water, and pepper in a small bowl. Spread mixture evenly over both sides of bacon. Place coated bacon on rack; bake for 18 minutes or until done. Cool; finely chop.
Combine oats and 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Stir in butter. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped bacon; reserve remaining bacon. Set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
To prepare muffins, weigh or lightly spoon 7.9 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 7.9 ounces flour, remaining bacon, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; stir well. Combine beer, oil, vanilla, and egg in another bowl, gently stirring with a whisk. Add beer mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Evenly divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter.
Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of muffins comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan; serve warm, or cool completely on a wire rack.
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