Chances are, if you ask me to do something, like help with a project, climb a tree, or show up somewhere regardless of the hour, I’ll say yes. Maybe because I subscribed to #YOLO before that was a thing or maybe I don’t want to suffer from #FOMO, before or after or even if that is a thing. Or maybe because it’s nice to do nice things for nice people and karma usually comes back and pleasantly surprises you.
It looks like brunch, but it’s actually karma. See, the only person who ever made me soft boiled eggs with buttery toast strips to dip in it, (eggs and soldiers), was my grandmother. A couple things have put me out to sea this week, but I haven’t dealt with them because I spent my free time helping friends with a super cool project. It was heaps of fun, but by Sunday, I needed a completely supportive/full of truisms/reminder of the important things in life hug from my g-ma to re-balance my psyche. But she’s drinking campari in the afterlife, which is cool for her, but left me a little wistful. Then I went to brunch and my friend had made soft boiled eggs with buttery toast strips. It was a hug from the universe in an egg cup and the nicest thing ever. Psyche: re-balanced.
When I got home, I baked a million and a half mini cupcakes. As a favor.
Eggs & Soldiers
Fill a pot with enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch. Bring to a rolling boil. Carefully lower cold eggs into the water with a spoon and boil for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and run under cold water. Serve in egg cups or shot glasses. Crack the top of the egg with a spoon and remove some of the shell or use egg shears (a thing!) to take off the top of the egg. Salt and pepper to taste. Dip strips of buttery toasted bread in the soft egg yolk.
Like actually in a top hat, not wearing one. As cute as that would be it wouldn’t really drive home my point which is that brunch is kind of magic.
I don’t care what anyone says. Brunch is a really special event. As a kid, you don’t have brunch. You have sugar coated cereal before Saturday morning cartoons, (okay, in my house it was more like pancake snowmen while reading the WSJ, but I digress). But adulthood, filled with its pitfalls of job searches, rent, taxes, and vaccuming, has this wonderful silvery lining called brunch. Bunch is the excuse for a non productive weekend. I couldn’t do laundry, brunch took up the whole day! A little sunshine and suddenly it’s okay to sit at an outdoor café gracefully chipping away at the ice layer on your espresso with a faux vintage demitasse spoon. Brunch makes it permissible to put a birthday candle in a bloody mary garnish.
Less filling than early afternoon football, brunch is the perfect excuse for a mid day cocktail like a belini, mimosa or cosmo. Or a boozy baked good. But there is one downside: cupcakes are traditionally NOT served at brunch. Cupcakes smack of teatime and are wildly inappropriate served alongside a quiche, (it is a known fact that the French look down upon frosting). Muffins, however, are totally acceptable. Especially these. Light and airy, they do not lead to other kinds of muffin tops.
- 6 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teas vanilla
- Zest of one lime
- 1 Tbs lime juice
- 3 cups plus 2 Tbs all purpose flour
- 3 teas baking powder
- 1 teas cinnamon
- ¼ teas ground nutmeg
- 1 teas salt
- 1 oz vodka
- 7 oz milk
- 1 2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two standard muffin pans with paper liners. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and lime zest and juice. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a separate bowl, combine vodka and milk. Add flour mixture to the butter and eggs in three parts, alternating with the milk mixture until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in cranberries. Spoon into pans, sprinkle tops with sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool or serve warm.