Monday, June 11, 2012

Quick Bread Breakfast Muffins

Confession time:  I am a muffin snob.  Have been since 2005 when I discovered this lovely recipe and cut it out of the Flavor section of the Houston Chronicle.  There is no reason whatsoever for a person to ever use a box muffin mix when they have this baby in their baking arsenal.  It is easy and quick (See the title? It does not lie.) and works as well with fruit and nuts as it does with cinnamon sugar or chocolate chips. 

The best part is that you can mix the wet ingredients together and put them in the refrigerator the night before you want to bake these.  And mix the dry ingredients together and leave them at the ready in a cling film covered bowl right there on the kitchen counter.   If you are feeling like an overachiever, you can even get the muffin tin buttered and ready.   When you get up in the morning, preheat your oven and mix your wet and dry, then add your fruit and you have muffin batter ready for the oven in next to no time.  This recipe is also very easily doubled for slumber party crowds for those of you who, like me, willingly accept groups of more than five or six guests and occasionally as many as 10 or 12.   

Sadly, my slumber party hosting days seem to be over so I am making these to take to my elderly father-in-law who hasn’t been well lately and, so, hasn’t been eating very much.  Nothing like fresh baked goods to entice a person to eat, I do believe.  We need to get some more meat on his bones!  I am hoping some of these will do the trick.

2 cups or 250g all purpose flour
¾ cup or 170g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup or 240ml milk
½ cup or 115g unsalted butter or ½ cup or 120ml canola oil
(I’ve made this many times and either butter or oil makes a delicious muffin.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 generous cup or about 175g fresh blueberries
Alternative additions in place of the blueberries: raspberries, dried cranberries, chopped strawberries, grated apples, chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, cinnamon sugar, etc.  (Grated apples AND cinnamon sugar?  Divine.  Dried cranberries and white chocolate?  Ditto.)  As you can see, the potential is huge. 

Preheat oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Generously grease cups and top of 12-cup muffin tin.  Or use the Reynolds Foil Baking Cups, as I do.  The muffins they make aren’t as prettily shaped as the ones made in a hard muffin tin, but there is little clean up and that is worth more than the aesthetics of the perfect muffin to me.  (So you see, I am the most noble type of snob.  It’s what you are made of that matters to me.  Not how you look.  This also applies to people.)  I give the whole baking tray, including the baking cups, a light spray of Pam. 

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. 

First cup of flour.

The baking powder goes in. 

Then the salt.

It's sifting but that's hard to show in a photo. 

Second cup of flour and the sugar.

In another bowl, melt your butter slowly in the microwave.  Then whisk together milk, melted butter, vanilla and eggs. 

Almost forgot the vanilla!
Add all the milk mixture to flour mixture. 

Gently fold just until dry ingredients are moistened.   

Then fold in your blueberries or your alternate ingredients.

Divide your batter relatively evenly between the 12 muffin cups.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden.

Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes before removing muffins from tin.  (If you are using a conventional muffin tin.  The Reynolds foil thingies cool much more quickly.)

This recipe can also be baked as a coffee cake, if you don’t have a muffin tin.  Extend baking time by five to 10 minutes or, once again, until golden.  


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