When I was approached to review an Amish cookbook, I was pleased to do it. We've talked about it before and all agree: the best recipes come from these kinds of cookbooks.......community, club or church driven, where everyone tends to send in their old family favorites. I have quite a collection of them, but not one from the Amish community.
You'll learn something of the history of the Amish as well. The introduction contains a narrative about their background and scattered throughout the book are marvelous vignettes and photographs along with the homey recipes. Yes, it's a comfortable cookbook...not cutting edge, but chock full of the kind of recipes you'd serve your friends and family. Some you've made or have similar recipes for and some, hopefully, are new to you.
Did you know there was a large Amish and Mennonite community in Sarasota, Florida, in an area called Pinecraft? We all think of Pennsylvania or Ohio, but not Florida. As it turns out, there are far more Amish communities than I had imagined. I DID know about one in Western Michigan because my sister, who lives in Michigan, took me to a lovely store that carried their work. This cookbook originates from Pinecraft and the recipes from those who reside or winter there.
It was really difficult to choose a recipe. I loved the idea of making the overnight French toast and the chicken and biscuits made my mouth water. But the cappuccino muffins were too tempting to pass up. No doubt the old "is it a muffin or a cupcake" question comes up, which as I recall, frosting was the determining factor. But these are muffins, definitely breakfast food, and they DO have a frosting, although it's not terribly sweet, which balanced the cupcakes perfectly. Be sure to use the mini chocolate chips so they will melt into the cupcake as well as the frosting.
Recipe by Sherry Gore, Pinecraft Fl.
For the muffins:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons instant espresso
1/2 cup butter, very soft
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
For the Topping:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, stir milk and espresso until dissolved. Add softened butter, beaten egg and vanilla. (the butter will not mix in completely. That's OK)
Stir in dry ingredients 1/3 at a time until combined. Fold in mini chocolate chips.
Fill paper muffin liners 3/4 full and bake 17-20 minutes.
While they are baking, mix the ingredients for the topping and set aside.
Remove muffins from oven and frost immediately so the mini chocolate chips will melt slightly.
Makes 12 of the deeper paper liners that I used.