Today I’m working on a project from home and I couldn’t be more deliriously happy. Over the weekend, my sweet friend Amber and I had a long conversation about our predilection for time spent in complete and utter silence. We spoke of the necessity of being alone, about how crowds give us vertigo, and after a long day of talking, all we want to do is be mute. Friends often laugh when we tell them about our introverted side, because Amber and I are the sort of people who are high-octane. We perform. People tell us we have a presence, so the idea that we crave, we absolutely need, quiet is laughable to most.
But trust me, it’s true. I’m an ambivert, which means that while I love collaborating with co-workers and being part of a team, I often need to be alone. This quiet allows me to recharge, rest, and think about the events of my day and what’s next. Perhaps it’s partly due to the fact that I’m an only child, but I take solace in my alone time; I’m rarely lonely. I prefer to travel alone. I prefer my company over others, and this clear delineation between these two states affords me to appreciate when great people are in my life.
Right now I’m privileged to be working on a project in an agency where everyone is really nice. They’re kind and collaborative, and I find myself getting excited and worked up and wanting to consistently build processes and structure (I’ve been brought on as a management consultant to restructure and build the blueprint for a division). At the end of the day, I’m exhilarated, but exhausted. So believe me when I say that today’s alone time was needed.
Not only did I wake at 5 and get a start to my day, I managed to make these muffins in the early morning hours. And nothing compares, NOTHING, to being alone with your kitty and a piping hot mini-cake. NOTHING.
INGREDIENTS: Recipe courtesy of Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours
Makes 12 muffins
Softened unsalted butter, for the pan
2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp fine sea salt
1½ cups pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B
12 tbsp (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup whole milk (I used almond milk)
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°. Brush the insides of 12 muffin cups with softened butter, then brush the top of the pan. (This ensures the muffins don’t stick when they rise.)
Whisk the unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk the maple syrup, melted butter, and milk together in another bowl, then whisk in the egg and yolk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until smooth. Stir in the walnuts. Let the batter stand so the dry ingredients can absorb the liquids, about 5 minutes.
Using a 2½-inch-diameter ice cream scoop, portion the batter, rounded side up, into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° and bake until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and a wire cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes more. (My note: Make this 10 minutes if you’re using a cupcake pan)
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely.