As a child my mother often made a delicious Amish Friendship Bread from a starter given to her by “friends”. You’ll notice I put the word friends in quotes because no true friend would give you this gift. In my opinion this starter is the gift from hell. It has to be fed each day for several days, and left to grow on your counter for over a week before you can even use the thing. Then once it is properly grown, the starter must be divided into several equal portions. You use one for your baking, then need to find several unsuspecting friends to unload this growing sentient slime onto in an effort to get it out of your house….sort of like a chain letter…it never ends because in a few weeks, these same “friends” will re-gift you with Herman again.
As kiddos, we always named the starter Herman because it seemed to take on a life of its own often crawling out of its container across the counter leaving a gelatinous goo, slime trail. I never have been a fan of goo so for me this friendly gift was no gift indeed! Somehow, I have managed to avoid having to raise my own Herman throughout 42 years of married life even though Mom offered to gift me with some each time she raised a new Herman. Although I must say as much as I deplored Herman, Mom’s Amish Friendship Bread was delicious and like the friends of the Little Red Hen I so enjoyed the fruits of her labors.
Recently I came across this recipe on Pinterest and thought of Mom. She was always so good about sharing the bread once it was done even if I didn’t want to grow my own starter.
This muffin recipe is extremely close in flavor to the original bread and so much easier to make.
Amish Cinnamon Muffins
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon vinegar or just use regular milk)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 F. degrees, grease a muffin tin and set aside.
- Hand mix ingredients together, be careful to not over mix the batter.
- Cream butter and sugar together till smooth. Softening the butter in a microwave helps this process.
- Add vanilla, and egg to butter mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda.
- Add milk and flour-baking soda mixture gently stirring until combined.
- In a separate bowl mix ⅓ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon together to create the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
- Fill muffin tins half full of batter. Then sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Add more batter to fill almost to the top of muffin pan. Then sprinkle tops with remaining cinnamon/sugar mix.
- Swirl batter around using a toothpick in the muffin cups.
- Bake at 350 F. degrees for 20-25 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cool for a few minutes in pan then move to cooling rack.