Lucky Muffins

I'm the person you hate, the person who picks the charms out of the Lucky Charms cereal box. You may also know me as the person who only eats the icing off cakes, or -- and I swear this only happened once -- the person who licks the cheese powder off cheesy pretzels. I just want to eat what I like, and I loooooove those little charms. I love their crunch and I'm cheered by how bright and artificial they are. The idea of designing a muffin around them is one that I'd been toying with for a while. I first thought about baking a cereal-based muffin a few months ago, but when deciding which cereal to incorporate, I couldn't get these charms out of my brain (my mind grapes -- 30 Rock, anyone?) So though this version doesn't have actual cereal, stay tuned, because this is only the beginning of a wonderful journey into the unknown world of cereal muffins.

I was pretty nervous about these because I didn't know what exactly would happen to them in the oven. The great news is that the muffins themselves came out wonderfully. They looked a bit wacky because of the colors, but the charms melted the perfect amount, and even kept their crunch. The mediocre news is that I used a sub-par marshmallow icing recipe (I should have known from the proportions, but I was too excited to notice) and my icing came out wet. I didn't have more powdered sugar and I didn't feel like figuring something else out, so I just used gooey icing. The story ends happily, though, because the muffins tasted great and so did the icing, which eventually hardened. So the muffins look a little drippy, but they managed to retain the St. Patrick's Day look (and the deliciousness) that I originally aimed for!

I used the basic vanilla muffin recipe from our vanilla chocolate chip muffins, and simply substituted in the charms. I'm not going to post the marshmallow icing recipe that I'm used, but I'm sure there are millions out there that you can use and just dye a bit green with food coloring. Be sure to top your muffins with an extra charm for good luck!

2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1 1/2 cup marshmallow charms
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk (skim works)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400. Line your muffin pan with paper muffin cups. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl, add the butter and rub it into the mixture. Stir in sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk and vanilla, then pour this mixture over the dry one. Mix in charms until combined, and spoon batter into the muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes, until well-risen and golden. Cool for about 10 minutes, and serve.