Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Recipe Of The Week: Better-Than-Basic Muffins

I love the magazine Everyday Food from Martha Stewart. They show simple recipes and how-to's with variations. The recipe I chose was their basic muffin mix.

Better-Than-Basic Muffins
~ makes 12


* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan

* 3/4 cup granulated sugar

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 2 cups all-purpose (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

* 2 large eggs

* 1/2 cup whole milk

* mix-ins (see variations; optional)

* 2 tablespoons sanding sugar; optional


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in lower third. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan, tapping out exess. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients; make a well in the center. Add egg mixture to well. With a rubber spatula gently stir ingredients just until batter is moistened (do not overmix; a few lumps are fine). Add mix-ins, if desired.

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full; sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Loosen muffins, and tip them on their sides to cool in pan. Serve warm or at room temperature (muffins are best the day they are made).

CORN = In Step 2, reduce flour to 1 cup, and add 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal.

BRAN-RAISIN = In Step 2, reduce flour to 1 1/2 cups, and add 1 cup bran and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; replace butter with 3/4 cup vegetable oil. At the end of Step 2, fold 3/4 cup raisins into batter.
CHOCOLATE-CHIP = At the end of Step 2, fold 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips into batter.

BLUEBERRY = At the end of Step 2, fold 1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) into batter.

CHERRY-PECAN = At the end of Step 2, fold 3/4 cup chopped pecans and 3/4 cup dried cherries into batter.

*Buttering and flouring the pan will keep muffins from sticking; paper liners work, too.

* If you don't use all the cups in a pan, fill the empty ones with water to ensure even baking.

*For the lightest, airiest texture, gently stir ingredients just to combine; don't overmix the

*To freeze muffins: Place in a resealable the batter. plastic bag, and freeze up to 3 months.

*Portion batter with an ice-cream scoop for even-size muffins, and fill each cup only two-thirds

* For a homemade muffin mix, combine the dry ingredients, and keep in a resealable plastic bag
in the freezer. Mix with wet ingredients, and bake whenever you're craving a treat.

Found in May 2008 edition of Everyday Food magazine

From My Experience: It was fun creating my own muffins using whatever I had on hand. The recipe made more than a dozen; I think it depends on the mix-ins. I made two different kinds as shown above. I had come apples that were a little too soft for my liking, so I chopped about three small apples and added cinnamon chips in one batch. For the other batch of muffins I added a berry mix consisting of frozen cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Both were yummy with varying tastes. The berry muffins were tart and the apple cinnamon sweet. I had a friend bake them with me, and her family loved them as well. Next time, I think I will try using half whole wheat flour. Since it typically needs more moisture, it is safer to only use it in place of half the flour requirement. This recipe is a keeper!

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