Surprise Sausage Muffins

[Back from summer vacation! And by "vacation" I mean "full-time job." BUT I am back, that’s the important thing.]

You heard me. Sausage. Muffins. Together at last! The “surprise” part comes from the fact that you can’t tell they contain sausage… UNTIL YOU BITE INTO IT:

As you may remember, I love anything that I can make muffin- or cupcake- shaped. However, though you’d never know it from the hundreds of cupcakes and desserts I’ve photographed for this blog, I try not to eat a lot of sugar. This combines the best of both worlds: a muffin, but not sweet! And I’m a sucker for almost anything with cornmeal in it.

This recipe is perfect for a filling on-the-go breakfast (or snack). I am generally not a fan of store-bought meat analogs, but Tofurkey’s beer brats are good and much less time-consuming than making one’s own sausages. Any non-breakfast [ie, crumbly] sausages will do. These muffins are best with gravy or something cheesy (if you’re in a hurry, I have a “Speedy Cheesy Cheater Gravy” recipe below), because they can be a little dry, depending on what kind of sausage you use.

I was inspired by a very non-vegan version of this somewhere on cooks.com, but I changed it a lot AND can’t find the original anymore anyway, so I am not giving you a link. If you have a favorite cornbread/muffin recipe, feel free to use it instead of the batter I give you below, but remember to add the pepper!
Surprise Sausage Muffins

3 Tofurky Beer Brats, each sliced into 4 pieces
(any non-breakfast sausage links will do, though you may need to adjust how many sausages/slices depending on their size. Basically, you want the slices to be around an inch and a half)
1 C non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp vinegar
2 T flax meal
1 C cornmeal
1 C flour (all purpose, or up to half whole wheat pastry flour)
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a muffin pan (or put in muffin cups).

Stir together the milk, vinegar, and flaxmeal in a small bowl or large measuring cup. Stir it really well, then let it sit for at least 5 minutes. In the meantime, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the oil to the milk mixture (it won’t combine well, but that’s okay), then stir the liquid ingredients in with the dry ones until there are no major lumps.

NOW. Fill the muffin cups ONLY HALF WAY, then put a sausage chunk in each half-filled muffin cup. Like so:
Once you’ve done that, use the rest of the batter to fill the muffin cups completely. Bake 15-20 minutes, until the tops start to turn slightly gold-brown. Let cool slightly before serving. Top, if you want, with vegan margarine or:

Speedy Cheesy Cheater Gravy

I’m almost embarrassed to post this because it’s so simple and silly. However, it tastes like more than the sum of its parts and is ready in five minutes or less. This will
generously cover 4 muffins, but as it is so simple it doubles/triples well. It doesn’t keep, though, so eat it all.

up to 1 C water
2 Tbsp yellow (mild) miso
2 Tbsp Earth Balance*
1/8 tsp black pepper

Set the water to boil. While it’s heating up, in a small bowl, mash the miso and Earth Balance/margarine/your fat of choice with a fork until they are really well combined. When the water is boils, remove it from heat and add 1/4 cup of it to the miso/fat mixture. Fork or whisk it until it is a lumpless, thick sauce. Add more water, ONE TABLESPOON AT A TIME, until it is the consistency you desire. Pour on top of Surprise Sausage Muffins or whatever you wanted a Speedy Cheesy Cheater Gravy for in the first place.

*-I recommend this, but you can use other vegan margarine, OR olive oil but if you use oil you will probably end up using less water.

And it would not be a triumphant return if I didn’t post at least SOME cupcakes.
These are from the beginning of the summer, so I forget if they were anything other than just chocolate cupcakes, but they are topped with Sweet and Sara vegan marshmallows, which make me really happy.
I didn’t take a picture of the inside, but these are the orange cream-filled cupcakes from vegan cupcakes take over the world. I brought them in for coworkers within my first couple weeks of work and gained respect as the best baker EVER. Thanks, VCTOtW.

The disadvantage to not blogging over the summer was that I wasn’t at all tempted to write down recipes for things, so when I made up my own recipe for banana cupcakes, I dind’t bother to record it. I LOVED THEM AND I WISH I DID. Some are topped with chocolate, some are topped with a cinnamon icing, and some are both. Though I usually go for chocolate everything, I actually liked the cinnamon-topped ones best.

Next week, I think I should try to stay away from sweets and even muffin-shaped things altogether. Maybe an Indian food post!? I am constantly experimenting in nightshade free Indian cooking.