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Muffins -- Bake-Off VII


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#1 Kerry Beal

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 06:34 PM

I had a suggestion from fellow eG'er Marmish, who's had a hankering for muffins and suggested this topic for a Bake-Off to generate some yummy ideas and get some company in her search for great muffins.

RecipeGullet has at least a dozen muffin recipes and there are numerous topics about everything from english muffins to RodneyCK's attempt to perfect Extremely Orange, Orange Muffins.

My current muffin infatuation is the Bake Shop Muffin (available in recipeGullet) from Fine Cooking. Endless combinations and permutations that produce the perfect oversized muffin. I've made them with blueberries, with bananas and pecans, with malt powder and vanilla.

My previous go-to recipes were the Cook's Illustrated Bran Muffin and an old favorite - Robin Hood's Blueberry Oatmeal Melt-your-heart muffins, a recipe torn out of the weekend supplement to the paper years ago.

So, what muffins have you been making? And what muffins are in your future?

#2 eskay

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 06:52 PM

I LOVE muffins! I bake them all the time; they're pre-portioned, easy to make, freeze well, and come in pretty much any flavour. Plus they're super versatile--they can be breadish and/or healthy, or chock full of sugar. Mmmmm, muffins :wub:

The last batch of muffins I baked came from a random cookbook I own and leaned toward the breadish side, which I think I prefer. They had a bunch of diced dried apricot in them and orange juice and zest, as well as a banana (more for moisture than flavour I think, although mine was slightly less than optionally ripe) They turned out really well, I like the apricot-orange flavour combination. I'm betting they'd be even better with dried cranberries, but that will have to wait till later.

The next batch of muffins (when I finish the apricot ones, I think I still have 5 or so left) will probably be these. I bought some flax meal a little while back on a whim and have been looking for ways to use it, and this recipe seems to fit the bill rather well. Also, it uses canola oil--a plus for me, since I'll sub in soymilk for the buttermilk and then I can share them with my lactose-intolerant roommate.

I also have a hankering to make some sort of nutty muffin--probably walnuts, but I haven't found a recipe yet, although I do have a walnut loaf recipe that I will probably adapt.

Last Christmas I baked a variety of things for my uncles: lime-poppyseed and apricot almond (I really like dried apricots...these had both chopped almonds and almond extract in them) being the muffin varieties. Both were tasty.
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#3 iguana

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 07:13 PM

We have been enjoying the Supermoist Banana Muffins from The Weekend Baker by Abby Dodge. They are the perfect resting place for senescing bananas-- something we have around the house in plenty, as my daughter prefers her bananas in that fleeting stage of just barely underripe.

#4 jende

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 07:37 AM

I made these over the weekend: http://www.foodandwi...cheese-frosting They're called zucchini cupcakes, but the line between cupcakes and muffins is fairly fine IMO, especially when you're using a savory ingredient like zucchini.

Anyway, they were delicious. I left out the raisins, and I think a grating of chocolate might be nice with them. The cream cheese frosting would probably push them out of the muffin realm, but it was a really good recipe. Not overly sweet.

#5 Live It Up

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 08:19 AM

I bake tons of muffins because they make such a convenient breakfast. I don't like muffins that are cakey or too sweet, and my husband doesn't like fruit, so when I find ones we both like I make them over and over. Some favorites:
sour cream coffee cake muffins (a combination for 2 variations on the basic muffin recipe from how to cook everything)
orange muffins
lemon ricotta poppyseed
carrot spice
zucchini
cranberry vanilla (just for me, though)

I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them right now. I will have to go make a batch of the coffee cake muffins this week. yummy.

#6 Qui

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 11:51 AM

your lemon ricotta poppyseed muffin sounds delicious, care to share your formula?





I bake tons of muffins because they make such a convenient breakfast. I don't like muffins that are cakey or too sweet, and my husband doesn't like fruit, so when I find ones we both like I make them over and over. Some favorites:
sour cream coffee cake muffins (a combination for 2 variations on the basic muffin recipe from how to cook everything)
orange muffins
lemon ricotta poppyseed
carrot spice
zucchini
cranberry vanilla (just for me, though)

I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them right now. I will have to go make a batch of the coffee cake muffins this week. yummy.

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#7 Anna N

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 01:26 PM

I am not a great fan of sweet muffins but I recently made these cheese muffins and they were very good. I froze most of them and they have come in very handy for a quick breakfast for me and hubby. Next time I make them I will kick them up a notch with some crispy bacon bits added to the batter. :biggrin:

In my list of muffins to try are the "Butter Tart Muffins" from the current issue of our liquor control board's freebie magazine. Although I don't like sweet muffins usually anything that approaches a butter tart might change my mind. I will nudge these higher on my lengthy "to try" list so I can get them into this thread.
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#8 eskay

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 01:42 PM

Ohhhhh that reminds me, I need to get the new one (magazine I mean) Butter tart muffins sounds pretty interesting, I'll have to pick that up and give them a try :shock:
Kate

#9 Live It Up

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 03:08 PM

your lemon ricotta poppyseed muffin sounds delicious, care to share your formula?


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I found the recipe online. Here it is:

Lemon Ricotta Muffins
Ingredients:
2 Cups (300g) All-purpose flour (plain white flour)
1/2 Cup (110g) Castor sugar + 2 Tbs
2 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup (250g) Ricotta cheese
1/3 Cup (84ml) Milk
6 Tbs (90ml) Unsalted butter, melted
2 Eggs (~50g)
2 Tsp Freshly grated lemon peel

Method:
200°C (400°F).

Grease twelve muffin cups
Stir flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder and salt
Whisk ricotta, milk, melted butter, eggs and lemon peel

funny--I'm just noticing that that's all I have. I mean, we can all figure out what happens next, but it just goes to show how little I actually pay attention to recipes when I make them. I never time muffins, but I'm guessing they bake for 15-20 minutes. Also, there are no poppyseeds in the recipe. I think I add about 3 tablespoons. Hope this isn't too vague.

edited to add poppyseeds

Edited by gfron1, 24 September 2007 - 05:42 PM.


#10 Marmish

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 05:10 PM

Thanks for adding this topic, Kerry! I have to cut back on my usual breakfast of yogurt. I am NOT a morning person, and usually eat breakfast once I have arrived at work and settled in for the day. I have made blueberry pancakes and frozen them to take, but I thought it would be good to have an assortment of muffins in the freezer. My husband will also take some to work for his midday snack.

Tonight, I am making zucchini muffins with raisins and walnuts. It's a recipe I'm going to fiddle with. It's hard to find one for zucchini that doesn't have a ton of sugar and oil. I'll be using some, but not all, Splenda, and some applesauce instead of oil.

Then, I'm going to make the citrus berry ones from Dorie's book.

I'm looking forward to the posts here and gaining some yummy new recipes.

#11 Marlene

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 05:22 PM

I am not a great fan of sweet muffins but I recently made these cheese muffins and they were very good.  I froze most of them and they have come in very handy for a quick breakfast for me and hubby.  Next time I make them I will kick them up a notch with some crispy bacon bits added to the batter. :biggrin:

In my list of muffins to try are the "Butter Tart Muffins" from the current issue of our liquor control board's freebie magazine.  Although I don't like sweet muffins usually anything that approaches a butter tart might change my mind.  I will nudge these higher on my lengthy "to try" list so I can get them into this thread.

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I'll have to try those cheese muffins, they sound good.

Some of us made the butter tart muffins recently. While they were really good, we agreed they'd benefit from a butter crumble topping rather than brushing them with maple syrup as the recipe suggest.
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#12 Anna N

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 05:33 PM

. . .


I'll have to try those cheese muffins, they sound good.

Some of us made the butter tart muffins recently.  While they were really good, we agreed they'd benefit from a butter crumble topping rather than brushing them with maple syrup as the recipe suggest.

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Thanks for the hint, Marlene. I will likely follow the recipe first time around and then play with it if it seems worth it.
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#13 Anna N

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 06:34 AM

So here's the butter tart muffins. I do not own the Texas size muffin pan that the recipe called for so I used a regular size pan and reduced the oven temp. by 25 F. The recipes notes that these muffins will NOT have the rounded top but will be irregular in appearance.

As for taste - OK they might resemble butter tarts in flavour but not very much! And the texture is so wrong! You need that ooey-gooey syrup and that flaky pastry all messed up together. Still they got thumbs up from hubby but then you could feed him a sugar cube and get kudos. :biggrin:

Posted Image
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#14 Marmish

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 07:14 PM

Here are the zucchini muffins. I used a typical heavy on the oil and sugar recipe, but subbed applesauce for most of the oil and Splenda for most of the sugar, using brown sugar for the rest. I stuck them all in sandwich bags and threw them in the freezer. They were pretty good this morning when they had thawed by breakfast time.
Posted Image

Tonight, I made the citrus berry muffins from Baking: From My Home to Yours.
Even the batter is pretty
Posted Image


This recipe made exactly 12 muffins. Not a smidge more or less. I like not having to bake a pan and a half, or do something else with left over batter. They are light and not sweet really at all. Almost not sweet enough, but that probably depends, too, on the berries. You can really taste the orange, but it isn't overpowering.

Posted Image

Posted Image

edited to add pic

Edited by Marmish, 18 September 2007 - 08:16 PM.


#15 jumanggy

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 11:43 AM

Oh, looking really, really good, everyone. Expect me to join in with my own muffins soon. Drooool.
Marmish, there's something about your muffin that reminds me of gâteau au yaourt (not that I've ever had one), so I began looking for a recipe for yogurt muffins. Now I just have to narrow it down to a dependable recipe.
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#16 eskay

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 01:12 PM

I found my camera cord! :raz:

Ok, so here's the apple honey muffins:

Posted Image

As you can see, they're pretty moist, but I thought there was too much apple in them (2 cups for 12 muffins!) which made them fall apart a bit :/ They were good enough for lunches though, there's only one left.

I also made some sort of experimental chocolate ginger muffins, which turned out well, I think. No pictures cause they're ugly, but I started with an oatmeal muffin recipe (I like the texture that oatmeal gives, since I wasn't adding any fruit or anything for texture variation), reduced the flour just a bit, and added cocoa, powdered ginger, and chopped up candied ginger. I really liked the flavour combination, but I thought they could have used a little more sugar. I wasn't going for very sweet, but I think I overdid it. Either way, I'd make them again. :smile:

Now I just have to finish eating these so I can make more :raz:
Kate

#17 SusanGiff

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 05:41 AM

I've had a weird craving for a muffin made with apples and lots of oatmeal lately, but I don't have a recipe (and am not the recipe-creating type, unfortunately). Anyone know of one? If not, maybe I'll start playing around.

#18 DanaG

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 05:57 AM

I've had a weird craving for a muffin made with apples and lots of oatmeal lately, but I don't have a recipe (and am not the recipe-creating type, unfortunately). Anyone know of one? If not, maybe I'll start playing around.

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I've made a recipe like that out of the "Once Upon a Tart" cookbook. I don't remember the recipe off the top of my head, but I could send it to you if you're interested (they're called "Apple Oat Bran Muffins" or something like that). I remember liking them but thinking they are the kind of muffins that actually taste better at room temperature, rather than straight out of the oven. I think they were a little blander than what I was looking for (I'd probably add cinnamon and a touch more sugar or honey). Let me know!

#19 cakewalk

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 06:13 AM

Posted Image

Bridge Creek Fresh Ginger Muffins. My favorites. :wub:

(I have some more photos I will try to post. I got a bit trigger happy.)

Edited by cakewalk, 05 October 2007 - 06:40 AM.


#20 cakewalk

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 06:51 AM

Posted Image

:wub: :wub:

#21 gfron1

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 07:03 AM

That's what I'm talking about! Show me the guts! Looks great, now slather it with butter and turn it into food porn.

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#22 Khadija

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 10:37 AM

Inspired by this thread, I've made a few batches of muffins lately. I plan to make some more this weekend, and will try to get my photography act together.

The previous batches included:

Bakeshop Muffins discussed in this thread. In a moment of decadence, I used chunks of dark chocolate, macadamia nuts, and slivers of candied ginger. The muffins were good, but I think that the added ingredients needed to be more blended or tied together. I guess I could infuse the wet ingredients with ginger or something.

Blueberry cornmeal muffins, based on this recipe: http://www.joyofbaki...ealMuffins.html. Due to a lemonshortage, I used some frozen minced lemongrass (added to the wet ingredients) in lieu of lemon zest. I used wild blueberries (frozen), purchased not picked. I thought the muffins were excellent. I overfilled the cups slightly, and made a few less muffins than the recipe recommended. I also lightly sprinkled the tops with granulated sugar before baking. The "caps" were crunchy, nutty, and delicious.

#23 Lindacakes

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 09:43 AM

Excellent thread, and thank you, Anna, for the cheese muffins. I need exactly this sort of savory muffin -- I make and freeze soup all fall and winter and a savory muffin is the perfect go-with.

Not a muffin, but Dorie Greenspan's sweet potato biscuits from her new book are really excellent, and freeze up for the soup thing nicely.

Best muffin recipes I've tried came from the Williams Sonoma Muffin cookbook -- not the new one, the old one with the green cover. There's a recipe in there for an orange date muffin that is fabu. I use Manadrin oranges from the can for those, which makes them moister.
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#24 Catherine Iino

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 10:48 AM

I second the comment on the Williams Sonoma book (other books in that first series were remarkably good, too). I especially like the pear pecan muffins and the orange currant muffins.

#25 Marmish

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 10:56 AM

I have the Wm Sonoma Ice Cream book and it is very good. I also have pies and tarts, and the cake one. They do a surprisingly good job. I'll have to watch for the muffin book.


I made the multigrain muffins from Dorie's book. I forget the exact name, but they have flour, wheat flour, oats, and cornmeal, maple syrup, and dried fruit. I wasn't sure I would like the texture with the cornmeal, but they were pretty good. If you like cornbread, you would like this muffin. I am kind of eh on corn bread, so eh on these. They will get eaten, but I won't likely make them again, simply personal preference. As with the citrus berry muffins, the recipe made exactly 12 muffins.

#26 eskay

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 05:33 PM

More muffins! I made acorn squash ravioli last week and had some roasted squash puree left over, it was so delicious and sweet, and emboldened by my recent success in baking with beets, decided to make squash muffins :biggrin: Well, technically they're squash, maple, and walnut muffins, but the maple was rather overlaid by me going pretty overboard with the spices :raz: They're delicious though, super tender and moist. They taste somewhat similar to pumpkin pie, which makes sense.

Here's the amounts I used. I don't know how useful it will be to anyone who doesn't have random squash lying around :rolleyes: but hey you never know. It came out a little short of batter, I was only able to make 10 muffins. Values are semi approximate.

dry:
1-1/2 cups + 1 TBS flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
freshly grated nutmeg

wet:
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup pureed squash
1/4 cup vegetable oil

etc:
1/2 cup walnut pieces

350 degrees Fahrenheit, 30 minutes, but I don't trust my oven further than I can throw it.

blurry webcam photo:

Posted Image
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#27 Anna N

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 08:50 AM

So I made the butter tart muffins again since I was the only one who failed to see the connection between butter tarts and these muffins. :wacko: And they are just too easy to make!

I used a combination of golden and dark raisins since that's what I had on hand.

As noted previously, these muffins do not mound up and their irregular surface is not a defect!

Posted Image
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#28 Lindacakes

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:53 AM

And?

I was an avid reader of the butter tarts thread, but I confess I haven't made them yet.

I like the look of those.
I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#29 Anna N

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 12:04 PM

And?

I was an avid reader of the butter tarts thread, but I confess I haven't made them yet.

I like the look of those.

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The recipe I originally used came from our local LCBO Food&Drink magazine but here's a link to an almost identical recipe. Add the walnuts or not - they are not in the original recipe.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#30 Lindacakes

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 11:11 AM

Thank you for the recipe -- did you like them? Are they buttery-tasting?
I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.