There is nothing quite as soothing as a warm (or cold!) bowl of rice pudding. It’s fine comfort food, and it’s why I’ve always liked “Kozy Shack,” at least for the aptness of the brand name. But, as usual, nothing beats homemade.
This past Saturday night, F. and I hosted my father’s 60th birthday celebration. It was a fabulous evening with family and friends and – as always – tons of amazing food. It was the kind of night where the food is so good and we are all so uncomfortably full, that ideas get tossed around for a family cookbook full of all those wonderful recipes. I had to work quite a bit in the lead up to the party, so while I wasn’t able to contribute a great deal to the spread, I was able to add these comforting muffins to the table.
|My mother was over, getting ready for the party, and thought it would be funny to capture me worrying over the muffins.
I was just making sure the pistachios weren’t burning!
Rather than nutmeg and dried cherries, I opted for 1/8 a teaspoon of cardamom and a 1/2 a cup of chopped pistachios. I then used a buttermilk and cardamom glaze over the top.
Rice Pudding Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
11/4 cups cooked white rice
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup milk (whole, low-fat, or nonfat)
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. To pre- pare the muffin tins, spray the indentations and the rims around them with nonstick spray, or line the indentations with paper muffin cups. If using silicon muffin tins, spray as directed, then place the tins on a baking sheet.
Combine the rice, cream, and melted butter in a large bowl, stir well, then set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside.
Whisk the egg and milk in a small bowl until smooth; stir this egg mixture into the rice mixture. Stir in half the pistachios and vanilla extract until well blended. Finally, stir in the prepared flour mixture until the rice and pistachios are evenly distributed in the batter. Do not overmix.
Fill the prepared tins three-quarters full and sprinkle with remaining pistachios. Use additional greased tins or small, oven- safe, greased ramekins for any leftover batter, or reserve the batter for a second baking. Bake for 22 minutes, or until the muffins are well browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean.
Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Gently rock each muffin back and forth to release and remove it from the tin. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes more on the rack before serving. If storing or freezing them, cool them completely before sealing in an airtight container or in freezer-safe plastic bags. The muffins will stay fresh for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to 2 months in the freezer.