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Kerry Beal

Muffins -- Bake-Off VII

47 posts in this topic

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?

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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.


Kate

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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.

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I made these over the weekend: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/zucchin...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.

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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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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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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.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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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

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

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 (log)

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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.

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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.

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.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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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.

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


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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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:

gallery_6903_111_45234.jpg


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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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.

gallery_8693_309_280598.jpg

Tonight, I made the citrus berry muffins from Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Even the batter is pretty

gallery_8693_309_345947.jpg

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.

gallery_8693_309_133094.jpg

gallery_8693_309_160240.jpg

edited to add pic


Edited by Marmish (log)

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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.


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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I found my camera cord! :raz:

Ok, so here's the apple honey muffins:

gallery_54928_4907_46556.jpg

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

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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 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.

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!

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gallery_2885_5182_1087303.jpg

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 (log)

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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.joyofbaking.com/muffins/BerryCornmealMuffins.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.

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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.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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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.

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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.

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