Monday, April 21, 2014

Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar

Light tender muffins sweetened with wild violet syrup and sprinkled with wild violet sugar for a Spring floral treat

Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar | Farm Fresh Feasts

About the only thing worth foraging in my yard these days are violets.
The garlic has woken up from it's deep winter slumber though it's no where near harvesting. The shallots, chard, peas and spinach planted recently haven't poked their heads up through the new layer of leaf mulch, and there's barely enough dandelion greens and chickweed for a composting guinea pig's Spring fantasies fancies.

Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar | Farm Fresh Feasts
My spouse took this bug's view of a violet in our front yard yesterday.
Since I'm pretty much done playing with the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve and I'm sick of using the put up vegetables in the freezer and pantry, I wanted to forage with something fresh.
Wild violets it is.

Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar | Farm Fresh Feasts

Did you ever wish you could take a Potions class?  Try making wild violet syrup--or jelly--instead.  The results are totally neat and taste much better than any Polyjuice potion.
Or so I'm led to believe, having only tasted Wild Violet Syrup and Wild Violet Jelly and Wild Violet Sugar but not any Polyjuice Potion.
When you add acidic lemon juice to an infusion of wild violet flowers, the resulting color change is dramatic.  Make sure you call everyone in the house into the kitchen so they don't miss it.  Here is a recipe for Wild Violet Syrup.

Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar | Farm Fresh Feasts

And if wild violets are as abundant near you as they are near me, use some to make Wild Violet Sugar--this stuff is gorgeous, naturally purple and such fun to play with.  I got my recipe for Wild Violet Sugar here.

After you've had your fun playing with potions--what next?  We are not huge syrup fans, though maple is great, thanks--so I played around with the basic muffin recipe from Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link) swapping yogurt for milk, wild violet syrup and wild violet sugar for the sugar (and reducing that too), and boosting the fiber with some whole wheat flour. I dunked those little treats into butter and more wild violet sugar to finish them off--and then my kids finished them off.

Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar | Farm Fresh Feasts

Pretty tasty for a Potions class.
Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar | Farm Fresh Feasts

Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar (makes 24 mini muffins)

⅔ cup vanilla yogurt (or honey salted caramel yogurt--I'm loving that)
1 egg
¼ cup (2 ounces) wild violet syrup (recipe here)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup (2 ounces) vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon wild violet sugar (recipe here)
½ cup (2 ounces by weight) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 ¼ ounces by weight) unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt (I used kosher)
1 to 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
more wild violet sugar (but not more than ¼ cup)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray a mini muffin pan with oil spray or line with paper if you prefer. In a large bowl combine the yogurt, egg, wild violet syrup, vanilla, and vegetable oil with a whisk until thoroughly mixed.  Dump the dry ingredients (wild violet sugar, flours, baking powder and salt) on top, then stir until just combined. Scoop about 1½ Tablespoons of batter into each well in the prepared pan. [If using a regular sized muffin pan scoop about 3 Tablespoons each and you'll get about 8-9 muffins.]
Bake mini muffins for 12 minutes [regular size for 15 minutes] and let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a rack.  Dunk muffin tops in melted butter then into wild violet sugar, or sprinkle the tops with the wild violet sugar, your choice.

Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar | Farm Fresh Feasts
Behind the scenes--too bright (yay Spring!) so I turned my reflector into a diffuser)

16 comments:

  1. I've now added go foraging for wild violets to my to do list. These look delightful, fragile, and fancy. I feel like I should have them with afternoon tea, and if afternoon tea means a break form work, then I will drink that stuff every day.
    P.S. Nice Harry Potter references. You get bonus points. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      You could spend your foraging time with your newly-returned spouse. After all, 4 eyes are better than 2!
      I've got another, more Meghan-centric, wild violet recipe coming soon . . .

      Delete
  2. Dear Kirsten, how exotic and beautiful! I cannot wait to try this once my violet flowers start growing in the garden. I will be saving and pinning. Stopping by from Tasty Tuesdays. Blessings, Catherine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catherine,
      I have been seeing violets all over the place here, which prompted me to dust off this recipe and get it ready for prime time. I wish you all the best with your wild violet fun!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. Kirsten, these are absolutely gorgeous! I had no idea you could cook with violets and now I want to put them in everything :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy,
      I find myself lying in bed or walking the dogs and dreaming up recipe ideas--all sweet using the wild violet sugar--because I think it's just so pretty.
      Great Minds Think Alike--thanks!

      Delete
  4. Wild violets? They sound gorgeous, and your muffins look gorgeous too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saucy,
      Why not?! Thank you for the compliments on my photos--a year ago I did the 30 Day to Better Food Photography course at LearnFoodPhotography.com , and one of our first assignments was to choose a food we could photograph every day for the entire course.

      I chose muffins--and my family ate a wide variety of muffins that month! I'm still improving, and having a new camera helps, so I appreciate the kind words.

      Delete
  5. beautiful muffins. It's amazing how you come up with something using wild violets!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aditi,
      This Spring I'm sharing two wild violet recipes, got another one coming up (I think maybe for Mother's Day, not sure yet) but my brain is already cooking up uses for that wild violet sugar. It's so pretty.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. These are so gorgeous! And very intriguing... You're making me wish I had a backyard now. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie,
      Yeah, I can't help you in NYC, but if you're someone outside of the skyscraper part of the city, with alleys and such, keep your eyes peeled. It's fun to do and keeps a while.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  7. Oh my...this post was a pleasure to read! Who would have thought that wild violets would look and sound so delicious? It also sounds incredibly exotic and definitely better than polyjuice potion! I definitely would like to try butterbeer though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indira,
      I would totally try butterbeer as well!
      My son's marching band was in Disney during winter break, and I thought we'd hit Universal Studios for a day during the trip so I could try a butter beer in Harry Potter World, but the price of that beer was just too dear for me.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Justine,
      I found wild violet syrup in my kitchen! I followed the recipe linked above (here's the link again if you need it http://kentuckyforager.com/2013/04/16/wild-violet-syrup/ ) and used the wild violets from my yard, plus sugar and lemon juice, to make this yummy treat.
      It keeps for a good while in the fridge, too.
      Thanks!

      Delete