Cherry Pistachio Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Muffins with Streusel Topping & a dream of penguins

by Irvin on February 20, 2012 · 10 comments

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A couple of weeks ago I had one of those random dreams where everything seemed to make sense in dreamworld logic, only upon awakening, to discover that it was complete nonsense. I’m not sure if it was the NyQuil I had taken to get myself to sleep (just as I was finally getting better from my cough, AJ came down with a cold and passed it on to me) or my crazy brain trying to crack through the stuffy headedness of my clogged sinuses but my unconsciousness seemed in overdrive. Why was there a penguin in my dream? Did that penguin really requesting that I make him cherry muffins or the little corn husk doll that he was holding would die an ugly death? And didn’t the penguin know that cherries aren’t in season right now? Of course, in his defense, it’s quite possible that the penguin is from Chile, where cherries actually are in season. Nevertheless, I woke up with an overwhelming urge to bake cherry muffins. So I whipped up these Cherry Pistachio Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Muffins with Streusel Topping.

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Cherry Pistachio Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Streusel Topped Muffins

I’m not one to think too much of my dreams. I often times don’t remember them, though when I do, they are usually entertaining. I used to keep a dream diary next to my side of the bed, in it’s own special place on top my faux antique dark stained vaguely Asian inspired wooden bedside stand. I would immediately grab the book whenever I woke up and could remember the dream, scrawling in barely legible handwriting the elusive dream, thinking that it would somehow to give me some sort of insight into my subconscious. But I think I ended up abandoning the habit out of sheer laziness. That or I had one too many dreams about a mysterious sister to Kylie Minogue (no, not her younger lesser known sister Danni, but yet another third sister) that was a disco diva singing hit star by day and a clandestine secret agent by night. Yes, the third Minogue sister was a spy. Not much interpretation needed in that particular dream. It was obvious that I was a screaming homosexual that watched too much spy television like Alias and Burn Notice.

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I love these muffins nearly as much as I love Kylie.

But I digress, as I oft do. I’m not sure what exactly the penguin in my dreams represented, though I think I can place the corn husk doll in the dream from a creepy corn husk doll that used to live in my partner AJ’s parent’s attic. Thankfully it’s not there anymore, but AJ and I would visit his family for the holidays, staying in the spare bedroom up in the attic, and just hope that the corn husk doll wouldn’t come alive as they often do in ersatz Stephen King stories, strangling us in our sleep. Why the penguin in my dreams would think that I cared if the doll lived or died is beyond me.

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The penguin made me make these muffins. I'm not complaining.

That said, these dream-inspired muffins pretty much hit the spot for me. It’s been awhile since I’ve baked muffins and I have to admit the combination of cherry, pistachio and cornmeal really was pretty inspired, whether they came from a threatening penguin or not. The cornmeal came from the corn husk doll, the cherries from the penguin, and the pistachios, well I don’t know where they came from. One of those mysteries of my subconscious I guess. Much like the mystery of how in the heck did that penguin hold up the corn husk doll? It’s not like penguins have opposable thumbs or anything.

Special thanks to Oregon Fruit Product Co. for sending me some of their canned fruit as samples to play with.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

ahu @ ahueats.com February 20, 2012 at 6:52 am

this looks incredible – and i love the addition of cardamom!

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Megan February 20, 2012 at 8:39 am

Whoa. These look super good. I want one right now!

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Deanna B February 20, 2012 at 8:50 am

Cornmeal and streusel in the same muffin? Be still my heart. If I wasn’t working my way through a mountain of muffin batter I would be making these right now.

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Belinda @zomppa February 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hahaha!! This totally made me smile. Who knows what penguins mean? And the corn husk baby??? This is like a new level of dream interpretation. Whatever it means, sounds like it inspired one great looking muffin!

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Jay @ LocalFood.me February 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I have to admit…I’m a bit jealous of your Jem and the Rockstar-like dreams. Mine were never that fabulous.

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Stephanie February 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Hey are those prefab parchment paper liners, or did you fold them yourself? How about a tutorial? :D

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Irvin February 22, 2012 at 1:18 am

LOL. I found them at a restaurant supply store, but folding them by yourself is pretty easy with some parchment paper. I’ll try to work on a tutorial post for it…

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Carolyn February 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I made these muffins last night – with a few little modifications such as fresh blueberries instead of cherries. They were fabulous! Thanks for posting.

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Kusuma February 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm

This is lovely. Seriously stunning. Corn, cherries, cardamom, cinnamon, sea salt. I’ve been totally craving this flavor experience.

The only thing is my little penguin (who sounds strangely similar to Pingu) has been playing the polenta card. Maybe it’s the alliteration, I dunno, but he just won’t let it go.

Could this work as some deliciously wet and sticky polenta cake? Maybe with some kind of delicious decadent and sticky syrupy glaze (like in a flan)? Topped with that same streusel love? I have no baking prowess. Perhaps you have some amazing ideas or pre-existing entries that tap into this kind of polenta confection?

Just to keep the penguins at bay.

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Amy March 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I found your blog by Googling recipes for pistachio muffins. I baked these this afternoon (subbing a regular lemon for the Meyer b/c that was what I had) and they were GLORIOUS. Thank you for sharing!

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