Yesterday was a big day for me. I had LASIK. I have wanted it for ages, but it scared me to death. To the point where I went through all of the testing and everything 8 years ago and chickened out a few days before my surgery. I think that everything happens for a reason, I needed to have it done when I was good and ready. I found an amazing doctor (Dr. Holzman is one of the best in the country) here, and he and his staff made the process so easy and comfortable. 15 minutes from start to finish corrected over 20 years of nearsightedness and astigmatism. Amazing. I woke up this morning and could clearly see across the room. I am so glad that I went through with it, and if you are on the fence, just do it.
When I was a little girl, I remember my grandmother always having a big red box of Panettone at Christmastime. She loves this rich Italian bread and I am pretty sure that she discovered it on a trip to Italy. I remember when Panettone was something that you had to special order, now you can get it in most grocery stores during the holiday season. I really want to try my hand at making my own Panettone, but it just did not happen this holiday season. It is not difficult to make, but it takes a lot of time. But what I did do was make a muffin version that has all of the same flavors and bite as the traditional bread without the fuss of making a yeasted bread. I think that my Nonnie would approve.
King Arthur Flour generously sent me some Panettone supplies to get my Panettone recipe started. Do you get the King Arthur catalog? Flipping through that catalog guarantees me one large box delivered to my door roughly 3 days after I open it. I love all things baking. Extracts, emulsions, sanding sugars, cocoas, paper liners, I love it all.
1 1/2 cups diced dried fruit
1/4 cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia, to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour2/3 cup milk
2 generous tablespoons coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping
In a small bowl, soak fruit with rum. Let stand overnight. If you are in a hurry, put it in the microwave until hot them let cool and use.
Cream together butter, oil, and sugar.
Add eggs, Fiori di Sicilia, and vanilla.
In another bowl, whisk together baking powder, salt, and flour. Set aside.
Stir in one third of the flour mixture, add half of the milk.
Repeat, making sure to begin and end with flour.
Add the dried fruit and gently fold into the batter.
Divide the batter evenly into a muffin tin lined with paper liners, or you can use these pretty panettone wrappers. Next time, I would just make 6 instead of trying to stretch it to 9. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 18 to 25 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on what you bake them in.
My favorite way to eat them? Warm with butter.