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Walnut muffins

150 g butter
150 ml sugar
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
100 g shelled walnuts or hazelnuts
1 tsp vanilla sugar
150 ml flour
1 tsp baking powder
(8 - 12 hazelnuts or walnut halves for garnish)
coffee icing (optional):
1½ tbsp milk
small knob of butter
½ - 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla sugar
about 200 ml icing sugar

Grate the walnuts or hazelnuts finely, set aside. Melt the butter and the sugar in a saucepan over a low heat. Gently bring the mixture to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring continually. Be careful not to brown or burn the mixture. Let the mixture cool.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, set aside. Mix the egg yolks in the sugar-butter mixture, add the grated nuts, vanilla sugar and the flour mixed with baking powder. Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the batter. You may not need all of the beaten egg white, just add enough to get a soft and thickish batter.

Spoon the batter in buttered muffin pan(s) or moulds  —  fill them up to 2/3  —  and bake at 175 °C for about 15 - 25 minutes, depending on the size of the muffins. Place the muffin pan on a wire rack and let the muffins cool down.

You can frost the muffins with a sugar icing, if you like. Prepare the coffee icing by melting the butter, milk and instant coffee in a small saucepan over a low heat. Mix in the sifted icing sugar and vanilla sugar. Stir until smooth.

Unmould the cool muffins and frost with the icing. You can place a whole hazelnut or a walnut half on top of each muffin as a garnish. Do this before the icing sets.

You may use this same batter to prepare a walnut cake.

Recipe source: adapted from "Pähkinämuffinsit", Ihatsu, A. et al., ed. (1993) Otavan suuri keittokirja. Keuruu: Otava.


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