The talented team behind the Ultimate cookbook series (The Ultimate Shrimp Book; The Ultimate Brownie Book; etc.) brings its ebullient creativity to this very American quick bread, explaining muffins' origins and providing many tips on technique, ingredients and equipment. They also include a source guide and an extremely helpful list of recipes by ingredient (e.g., all muffins with chocolate). The authors present their 101 master muffin recipes alphabetically-Almond through Zucchini-and offer several variations for each. Recognizing the recent "cupcakeization" of muffins, Weinstein and Scarbrough offer quite a few light and/or savory selections, such as Low-Fat Banana or Green Onion Parmesan. But there is no denying their sweet tooth, as witnessed by Coffeecake and Marmalade Muffins for breakfast, or Fudge, Macaroon, and Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins for dessert. Those on special diets will relish the selection of dairy- and gluten-free muffins, and for holidays, cooks might consider Haroseth, Fruitcake or Sweet Potato Casserole Muffins. Some of the ingredient combinations veer into the questionable (e.g., frankfurter-laden Corn Dog Muffins, Strawberry Black Pepper Muffins, or Duck Confit Quiche Muffins). Still, it's hard to resist the authors' user-friendly instructions, punchy head notes, clever suggestions and enthusiasm for their subject. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The latest in Weinstein and Scarbrough's popular series offers 100 or so "master" recipes along with hundreds of variations, from Almond Muffins to Matzo Brei Muffins. There are muffins for breakfast, muffins for snacks or teatime, and even muffins for dessert; there are also low-fat and nonfat versions, as well as a brief selection of icings, drizzles, and other toppings. For most baking collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.