Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lovin' from the Oven.

They're warm and comforting; moist and rich in flavor; satisfying as is, or more delicious with spread on butter, honey or jam. They are muffins and they are a treat no matter what time of the day or night they are eaten. Depending on what ingredients they contain, muffins are basically a miniature version of a bread or cake. If they become slightly stale, they can be broken up to use in another recipe, such as a trifle or bread pudding.

Besides being delicious, they are versatile; for a party, miniature muffins are cute; and folks won't think they're being little piggies if they happen to try one of every variety being served. No time for a sit down meal, a muffin on the go, since they are easily hand held. Children being difficult about eating a healthy meal...let them eat cake; that is a muffin made of healthy ingredients, but they don't know it. Back in the 1990's, I had a small business where I would cater breakfast business meetings; serving coffee, tea, juice and loads of muffins. I did well, that is until my business partner stole all my assests and equipment, but that's a whole other boring story.

The combinations for muffins are endless, so have fun experimenting and your tummy will love you for it.


Basic Batter


1/2 cup softened butter
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 400F; spray 2-6 cup muffin tins with nonstick baking spray.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar; add in each egg separately, continuing to mix to incorporate well. Mix in the vanilla extract and milk until smooth.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients into the large bowl of wet ingredients until all is incorporated and smooth.

Spoon the batter into the tins, filling 2/3 of the way up. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffins.

Let cool for 5 minutes before removing muffins from the tins.

Makes 12 muffins.


Banana Walnut

Reduce milk to ½ cup; add 1 cup of mashed banana to wet ingredients. Add ½ tsp ground cinnamon and ½ cup chopped walnuts to dry ingredients.


Into the completed basic batter, fold in 1 cup fresh or thawed berries (whole blueberries or cranberries, red or black raspberries that have been halved, diced strawberries or a mixture of berries).

Reduce the all purpose flour to 1 cup; add 1 cup cornmeal.

Fruit Preserves

Prepare basic batter; fill tins 1/3 full and place 1 tsp of jam, jelly or preserves in the center.
Finish spooning basic batter into cups to 2/3’s full mark.

Candy Chips
Exchange sugar for light brown sugar. Add ½ tsp baking soda and ½ cup of candy chips (chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch, mint, vanilla or mixture) to the dry ingredients.

Mary Cokenour
September 1997