More Muffins: 72 Recipes for Moist, Delicious, Fresh-Baked Muffins
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More Muffins: 72 Recipes for Moist, Delicious, Fresh-Baked Muffins

by Barbara Albright, Leslie Weiner, Nancy Resnick
     
 

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Muffins are an American classic-a fresh-baked treat that delights at breakfast, lunchtime, teatime, and as a late-night snack. In this wonderful new collection, the authors of the bestselling Mostly Muffins return from their test ovens with more recipes for muffins of all types. Included are mini muffins, mega muffins, healthier muffins, hearty muffins,

Overview

Muffins are an American classic-a fresh-baked treat that delights at breakfast, lunchtime, teatime, and as a late-night snack. In this wonderful new collection, the authors of the bestselling Mostly Muffins return from their test ovens with more recipes for muffins of all types. Included are mini muffins, mega muffins, healthier muffins, hearty muffins, irresistible muffin tops, and delicious spreads that make any muffin a complete treat.

Apricot almond muffins, plum yogurt muffins, chocolate chunk oat muffins, cranberry oat bran mini muffins, red pepper cheddar corn muffins, spiced pumpkin mini muffins, Texas-size big bran muffins, zucchini muffins, and many more.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The authors' Mostly Muffins has been immensely popular (100,000+ copies in print), and their new collection is likely to be as well. Here are muffins as sweet as dessert (Chocolate Caramel Pecan, for example), mini muffins, mega muffins, and "muf-funs"--treats, like Mocha Cheesecake Muf-funs, that "have some sort of relationship to muffins." There's also a chapter of Somewhat Healthier Muffins, but the majority of the recipes are on the richer side. For most collections. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312243135
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
11/30/1999
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.45(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

More Muffins

72 Recipes for Moist, Delicious, Fresh-Baked Muffins


By Barbara Albright, Leslie Weiner, Durell Godfrey

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 1999 Barbara Albright and Leslie Weiner
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-7058-1



CHAPTER 1

Making Perfect Muffins


Within forty minutes or less, you can be enjoying freshly made muffins. Muffins are quick and easy to make and you probably have the ingredients on hand right now for several of the recipes.

The term "muffin" has come to include any small, cakelike baked good that is made in a muffin pan (and, admittedly, some of our creations are very much like cake). Most of our recipes are made according to the classic muffin method, but a few use other techniques. In the standard method, dry ingredients such as flour, sugar, baking powder and/or baking soda, and salt are mixed together in one bowl. In another bowl, liquid ingredients including milk, eggs, and melted butter are stirred together. A well is made in the center of the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients are added and stirred just to combine.

Before preparing any recipe, read each one carefully. Then assemble the ingredients and equipment and prepare the pan. For best results, use good-quality ingredients, equipment, and utensils.

Our world is not standardized and muffin pan sizes are no exception. We tried to use the most common sizes of pans for developing our recipes. Most muffin batters can be used in other sizes of muffin cups, although you will probably have to fiddle a little bit with the baking times and the yields.

Measure all ingredients carefully. Be sure to use the appropriate measuring cups for dry and liquid ingredients. Use measuring spoons instead of flatware. Level off measuring spoons and dry measuring cups with the flat edge of a knife. Read measurements for liquid ingredients at eye level. (Refer to individual ingredients for specific instructions.)

For best results, position your oven rack so that the muffin pan is in the center of the oven. Or, if you are cooking more than one pan, evenly space the racks. Preheat the oven to the specified temperature and check the temperature with an oven thermometer. (Mercury thermometers work best.) Test for doneness as directed in each recipe. Oven temperatures vary, however, so check muffins at the minimum baking time recommended in each recipe to avoid overbaking, especially when trying recipes for the first time.

To create nicely textured, round-topped muffins, it's important that the batter not be overbeaten. Stir the mixture with a few strokes — a maximum of twenty — just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. It's almost a folding motion. There will probably be small lumps in the batter, which will disappear when the muffins are baked. If nuts, fruits, or chocolate chips are to be added, they should be mixed in with one or two quick strokes.

Depending upon the components, the consistency of the muffin batter can vary widely. Some batters are pourable, while others are quite stiff. Spoon batter evenly among muffin cups lightly greased with butter, vegetable shortening, vegetable oil, or sprayed with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Paper liners can also be used, if desired. The yield will increase because less batter will fit into each muffin cup. In some recipes, the edges surrounding the cups are greased as well so the muffins can be removed easily. Fill unused cups with a few tablespoons of water to ensure even baking and to protect your pan.

Follow the recipe directions for cooling the baked muffins. This usually includes a short cooling period on a wire rack before removing the muffins from the muffin pan to a wire rack to cool completely. It's important to let the muffins stay in their cups for a short period so they don't break apart when removed, but they should not be left in their cups for longer than ten minutes, as moisture may accumulate around their bases making them difficult to remove. If you have any difficulty removing muffins, run a small metal spatula around edges.

Perfect muffins should be tender and light and have a uniform texture and moist crumb. They should be straight-sided and rounded on top. And, of course, they should taste great! (In our time, we've seen some spectacular-looking muffins with voluptuous tops. Unfortunately when we purchased them, these muffins often tasted like a bar of soap because they had so much leavener in them.)

Overbeating muffin batter will cause the gluten in the flour to overdevelop, which will toughen the texture of the muffins and may fill them full of tunnels. Generally, standard-size muffins are baked in a 350°F to 425°F oven for 15 to 30 minutes. If the oven heat is too low, the muffins may not peak properly, and too high an oven temperature can cause them to crack and peak unevenly.

It's difficult to resist freshly baked muffins and they are best when eaten right away. Store any cooled leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. Always refrigerate muffins that contain cheese or meat, and refrigerate all muffins during hot summer months. We've noted the muffins that freeze well.

To store muffins in the freezer for up to one month, wrap completely cooled muffins in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Store in an airtight container for best results. Be sure to label and date the item before freezing so that you do not have any mystery packages in your freezer.

To reheat muffins, wrap them loosely in aluminum foil. Heat room temperature or refrigerated muffins at 250°F for 5 to 10 minutes; heat frozen muffins at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes.


Ingredients

Flour

Unless otherwise specified, the recipes call for all- purpose flour, as this is the type of flour that most people have on hand. To measure any type of flour, lightly spoon the flour into the appropriate dry measuring cup. Try not to be heavy-handed. Level it off with the straight edge of a knife. Do not tap the cup or dip it into the flour or you will end up with more flour than is needed.


Sugar

We've used granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar, and brown sugar in these recipes. In addition to adding sweetness, sugar is important to the texture of baked items. Measure granulated sugar by filling the appropriate dry measuring cup(s). Level it off with the straight edge of a knife. Measure confectioners' sugar in the same way that you measure flour. Light and dark brown sugar are basically interchangeable in recipes. Dark brown sugar will produce darker baked items. To measure brown sugar, press it firmly into the appropriate-size dry measuring cup(s) until it is level with the top edge. It should hold the form of the cup when turned out.

Store brown sugar in airtight containers in a cool place. One manufacturer recommends freezing brown sugar for lengthy storage, and most manufacturers include softening directions on the package should your brown sugar become dry and rocklike. One recommended method is to place the brown sugar in an airtight plastic container, cover the surface of the sugar with a piece of plastic wrap, and top with a folded moist paper towel. Seal the container for eight to twelve hours before removing the towel.

Whether you've had to soften your brown sugar or not, we've found that it is a good idea to squeeze the brown sugar between your fingertips as you add it to the mixture to eliminate sugar clumps in the finished product.


Baking Powder And Baking Soda

These two items are not interchangeable. Use whichever is called for in the recipe. Use double-acting baking powder, which is the type most readily available. (We have noticed that a few single-acting baking powders have been sneaking onto grocers' shelves.)

Double-acting baking powder enables leavening to occur both at room temperature and during baking. It contains two acid components, calcium phosphate and sodium aluminum sulfate, along with an alkali component, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and cornstarch. Adding liquid to baking powder causes a chemical reaction between the acid and alkali, forming carbon dioxide and water. Leavening occurs when heat causes carbon dioxide gas to be released into the dough or batter.

When acid ingredients (such as buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, citrus, cranberries, and molasses) are used in baking, it is usually necessary to add baking soda (sodium bicarbonate — an alkali) to balance the acid-alkali ratio.

Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. They can lose their potency if stored past the expiration date or if moisture gets into the container.


Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

There are basically two types of unsweetened cocoa powder — alkalized and nonalkalized. The former has been treated with an alkali to make it less acidic. It is often called "Dutch-processed" or "European-styled." In our recipes we've used nonalkalized cocoa powder because we think it gives a richer, more robust chocolate flavor to baked items, and it is readily available. (Hershey's brown container of classic cocoa powder and Nestlé's are both nonalkalized.) Measure cocoa powder the same way that you measure flour.


Salt

Our recipes use very little salt and, when divided among servings, the amount of salt is minimal. Don't leave it out. We think you will find that just a little bit greatly enhances the flavor of most baked goods.


Eggs

Select large, uncracked eggs. Letting the egg reach room temperature before use makes it easier to incorporate them into the batter, but do not let them stand at room temperature for more than two hours. Because of the potential danger of salmonella in raw eggs, it is not advisable to taste any mixture containing uncooked eggs. Eggs should always be cooked to 160°F to reduce the risk of salmonella.

To bring refrigerated eggs to room temperature in a hurry, submerge them in a bowl of very warm water.


Butter

Use unsalted (often called sweet) butter in these recipes so that you can more accurately control the amount of salt in the recipe. The recipe will taste better, too. Salt acts as a preservative and may mask the flavor of butter that is past its prime. Unsalted butter has a shorter shelf like, so if you are keeping it for long periods of time, be sure to freeze it. You may substitute unsalted margarine. However, do not substitute vegetable oil and expect to get the same results.


Vanilla Extract

Use the real thing for better-tasting results. Pure vanilla adds a full, rich flavor and it often allows you to get by with a little less sugar.


Spices

Store spices in airtight containers away from light and heat. Older spices may lose their potency, so it is a good idea to date your containers at the time of purchase.


Fruits

Use the fruits called for in each recipe. For example, do not substitute chopped fresh fruit for dried fruit, and vice versa.


Peanut Butter

Use commercially prepared regular (not reduced-fat) peanut butter in our recipes. The health-food-store variety may change the texture of the recipe.


Nuts

It is a good idea to taste nuts before using them, as they can become rancid and spoil your recipes. Store nuts in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. We like nuts and have used them in many recipes. If chopped nuts are supposed to be stirred into a batter or dough, you can usually leave them out if you do not care for nuts. Remember, however, that the volume will decrease if you omit the nuts.

CHAPTER 2

Muffins


Almond Butter Brickle Muffins

It will be hard for your family and friends to identify the secret ingredient — almond brickle chips — in these muffins.

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg (at room temperature), lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup almond brickle chips
½ cup chopped toasted almonds (see note)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter twelve 3 x 1 ¼-inch (3½- to 4-ounce) muffin cups.

2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, stir together milk, butter, egg, and vanilla. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add milk mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in chips and nuts.

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.

4. Remove muffin pan(s) to wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing muffins from cups; finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes 12 muffins

Note: To toast almonds, place them in a single layer in a jelly-roll pan or on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 5 to 7 minutes, shaking sheet a couple of times, until nuts are lightly browned.

You can substitute ¾ cup chopped chocolate-covered toffee bars for the almond brickle chips.

To clean melted almond brickle chips from muffin pan, fill muffin cups with very hot or boiling water and a small amount of dish detergent. Let stand for 10 minutes before washing muffin pan.


Apricot White Chocolate Walnut Muffins

Here is a flavor combination that is one of our favorites. If you like, substitute other dried fruits, chips, and nuts for those that are used in this recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk, at room temperature
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg (at room temperature), lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup white chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter twelve 3 x 1¼-inch (3½- to 4-ounce) muffin cups and edges surrounding the cups.

2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, stir together milk, butter, egg, and vanilla until blended. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add milk mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in apricots, chips, and nuts.

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.

4. Remove muffin pan(s) to wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing muffins from cups; finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

These muffins freeze well.

Makes 12 muffins


Chocolate Caramel Pecan Muffins

The classic combination of chocolate, caramel, and pecans makes a decadent topping for these cakelike muffins.

Muffins

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk, at room temperature 1 large egg (at room temperature), lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toppings

18 unwrapped caramel candies
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
12 or more pecan halves, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter twelve 3 x 1¼-inch (3½- to 4-ounce) muffin cups.

2. To prepare muffins: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat bittersweet chocolate and butter in a microwave oven on High for 1 to 3 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking, until melted (or use a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water). Cool mixture at room temperature for 10 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, stir together buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Stir in melted chocolate mixture. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add chocolate mixture and stir just to combine.

4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.

5. Remove muffin pan(s) to wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing muffins from cups; finish cooling on rack.

6. To prepare caramel and chocolate toppings: In a small heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt caramels with milk, stirring until smooth. Cool mixture at room temperaure for 10 minutes. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, heat chips in a microwave oven on High for 1 to 3 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking, until melted (or use a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water). Stir in sour cream until blended. Cool mixture at room temperature for 5 minutes.

7. With a sharp knife, cut a 1-inch diameter cone-shaped hole into each muffin top, approximately 1 inch deep. Spoon 1 rounded teaspoon of caramel topping in each hole. Top each muffin with 1 level tablespoon chocolate topping, dividing evenly among cooled muffins. Spread evenly over muffin tops. Decorate with nuts.

8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until topping is set. Serve muffins or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let muffins reach room temperature before serving.

Makes 12 muffins


(Continues...)

Excerpted from More Muffins by Barbara Albright, Leslie Weiner, Durell Godfrey. Copyright © 1999 Barbara Albright and Leslie Weiner. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Barbara Albright and Leslie Weiner are the authors of Mostly Muffins, Simply Scones, Totally Teabreads, and several other cookbooks. They live in Norwalk, Connecticut, and Westfield, New Jersey, respectively.

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