The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half. ~ Feodor Dostoevski
We are all of us creatures of habit.
I've only recently noticed just how many habits I've collected along the way: how I have coffee in the morning before the cereal, how I always sit on the right-hand side of the bus, how I check the same websites every morning.
My Dad was no exception. In fact he could've been the poster boy for habitual living. We used to go out for lunch as a family every weekend. For years it was BB's Cafe in Wairau Park. And every single weekend he would order exactly the same things: a cappuccino in a bowl with chocolate, a ham and cheese croissant (heated) and an Apricot and Cream Cheese Muffin.
We were such regulars, I even ended up working at the place. And Dad would still come in, every Sunday, for his coffee, croissant, and muffin.
It's eight years today since he passed away. And I can still see him sitting there just like it was yesterday, with the paper in one hand and a muffin in the other. So today, I broke my morning habit to bake Dad's favourite muffins and remember all his quirky habits with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.
Apricot and Cream Cheese Muffins for my Dad. I love you. I miss you so much.
I never got to be privvy to the BBs muffin recipe which made incredibly soft tender moist muffins that my Dad loved. I've searched high and low for a similar muffin recipe and this is the best one I've found so far based on this blueberry muffin recipe. My oven ran a bit hot for this batch so the tops were a bit crunchy but the bottoms were still lovely and tender.
Apricot & Cream Cheese Muffins
Makes 10 muffins
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
100mL milk (1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon), room temperature
1/3 cup oil (flavourless like canola)
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 can of apricot halves, drained
~ 100g cream cheese
icing sugar to decorate
1. Preheat your oven to 200oC. Place 10 cupcake liners in a 12 cup muffin tray.
2. Reserve 3 apricot halves to slice up for decoration. Dice the rest of the apricots and set aside. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix. Make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, egg and vanilla.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the well in the dry ingredients and fold gently a few times to just in corporate. The mixture will seem quite dry. Add the diced apricots and fold in quickly and gently until only just mixed. A light hand here is best...the more you mix the tougher and denser your muffins will be!
4. Divide the mixture into the baking cups ~ about 3/4 full. Scoop 1/2 teaspoons of cream cheese and push into the middle of each muffin, making sure the cream cheese is covered by muffin mixture. Place a slice of apricot on top
5. Bake at 200oC for 18-20 minutes. Immediately take muffins out of the tray and onto a wire rack for cooling. Sprinkle with icing sugar when cooled. Best eaten on the day of baking. You can reheat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds on high (one muffin at a time).