15 August 2009

Anything Muffins

I call this recipe "anything muffins" because you can add pretty much any flavor, fruit, or confection to them and they taste amazing. From this one recipe I can make blueberry, orange, lemon poppy seed, cheddar, cranberry, chocolate chip (the kids favorite), and many more. The possibilities are endless. No matter what you add to this base recipe your muffins will be perfect and impressive. You'll never go back to those disappointing mixes.

You will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour (if you haven't switched to King Arthur...hurry up!)
3 tsp baking powder (aluminum free)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk (more on what kind later)
1/4 cup oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. I know it seems high. I would never bake a cake at 400 and cookies never bake at higher than 325, but the higher temperature is necessary for muffins. It's what gives them their dome tops!

Add your flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a large mixing bowl. If you use King Arthur you don't need to sift. :) Mix well.

Add your milk to a 2-cup measuring cup. Now, what kind of milk. It really doesn't matter, but remember that the higher the fat content, the fluffier the muffin. So use whole if you have it or mix 1/2 skim and a 1/2 whole or 2%. I used a mixture of skim and half and half. It makes a difference and let's face it, you aren't making muffins because they are healthy. Add the egg to the milk cup. (Thank you Smores for donating the egg.) Mix the egg and milk with a fork.

Now add your oil to the milk cup.

Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients.

Add your milk, egg, oil mixture all at once.

Stir just until combined. Overstirring will make tough muffins. The batter will be lumpy.

The fun part! This time around I made chocolate chip muffins for my girls. I added 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips. Okay...I dumped a good portion of the bag into the mix and it was probably more like 1/2 cup.

Orange muffins: add 1 tsp of orange extract and 1/2 tsp of orange zest, drizzle with an orange powdered sugar glaze
Lemon Poppy seed: 2 tsp lemon extract and 1 tsp poppy seeds
Bacon and Cheddar: 1/4 cup bacon and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
Blueberry: 1 cup blueberries
Cranberry: 3/4 cup dried cranberries that have been soaked in apple juice (or use craisins)
Snickerdoodle: 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (decrease baking powder by 1/4 tsp) and sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar
Peanut Butter Cup: 3/4 cup chopped peanut butter cups

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and evenly divide batter between each cup. I added a bit too much to each of my muffin cups this time around and only ended up with 11 muffins. You'll get 12 muffins out of this recipe just like I always do...except this time because I was taking pictures. If you do end up with an empty spot or two keep the liner in the cup so that the pan doesn't scorch while the muffins bake. And please excuse the sad state of my muffin tin. It has been baking muffins for me for 15 years and can't help how old and abused it looks.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. Check them at 16 minutes. If they have started to brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean, they are done. Nothing worse than a dry, overbaked muffin.

(My new green frying pan wanted to be in the picture. I never put it away because I like looking at it.)

So fluffy, so tender, soooo delicious. The perfect weekend morning treat!

I don't make these for the kids during the school week because of all the white flour, but they are the perfect muffin for the weekend. Just keep them in a bowl under a towel and your family can snack on them all weekend. They also freeze really well. Wrap in tin foil, place in a freezer bag, and pull one out whenever you want a quick treat. Let it thaw and then warm one muffin in the microwave on half power for 8 seconds.



Sweet and Savory said...

The beauty of muffins is their versatiility as you point out. Also, they usually don't take a lot of time and they are easy to make and taste so good.

Sweet and Savory said...

Muffins are so versatile, as you pointed out. They are also easy to make and don't take a lot of time and they are good to eat.
Three cheers for muffins.

Angie's Recipes said...

wow! I call those as "EVERYTHING muffins"! They look gorgeous!

Angie's Recipes

MaRyA said...

thanks! i will try your recipe for my muffins too! i am always on the lookout for that perfect fluffines and moistness!

CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta said...

Great post and super helpful with all the instructional photography! cheers!

Cookin' Canuck said...

That's a great idea to have a muffin recipe that is so versatile. It means you can whip up a batch at a moment's notice!

Jessie said...

I love muffins and the many varieties of ingredients! They are one of my favorite breakfast treats