I love Jack London books SO much. He writes about gritty arctic survival with all the power and heart of someone who truly loves and understands the wilderness. I was desperate to include either White Fang or Call of the Wild as a Book of the Month this year, and since White Fang is longer, it made the cut!
This month’s menu is going to be stark but hearty: trail food. Few foods make more appearances in White Fang’s trail meals than coffee, so I hunted up a coffee muffin recipe from Taste of Home and made a few changes to suit my needs. These muffins have a firm, almost crunchy crust on top and a soft, subtly sweet center with just a touch of coffee flavor. Pair with maple butter, and you’re trail-ready!
“Henry did not reply, but munched on in silence, until, the meal finished, he topped it with a final cup of coffee. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and said:
“‘Then you’re thinkin’ as it was—’
“A long wailing cry, fiercely sad, from somewhere in the darkness, had interrupted him. He stopped to listen to it, then he finished his sentence with a wave of his hand toward the sound of the cry, ‘—one of them?'”
— White Fang
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp instant coffee granules (I used Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Single Stick Instant Coffee, which has about 2 tsp per stick)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1 cup milk
Makes 1 dozen muffins
- Preheat your oven to 375° and melt your butter in the microwave (20 seconds on high in a microwave safe bowl should do it).
- In a large bowl, whisk all your dry ingredients together, including the coffee granules.
- Add the egg, vanilla, butter, and milk. Whisk until just moistened.
- Line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers and fill each wrapper 3/4 of the way with batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Serve warm with maple butter on a cold Alaskan morning. To make your own maple butter, simply mix 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup into ¼ cup softened butter until smooth.