Monday , 20 November 2017

Kyra’s Kitchen: Muffins for Dummies

If someone has not yet written ‘Muffins for Dummies’, someone should.  They are easy to prepare – usually requiring just a mixing spoon or spatula, a couple of mixing bowls and muffin tins – can be tailored to one’s desires, come in sensible portions, are ready to eat in 60 minutes, can be savory or sweet, and can be frozen for later use.

And they are inexpensive….

Here are five muffin recipes to start  you off.  After that let your imagination run wild!

General Hints.
Most Muffin recipes require you mix together the dry ingredients, mix together the wet ingredients, and then stir both together JUST until you see no more flour. DO NOT OVERMIX!
Be sure to grease or oil muffin pans well including the top of the pan.
Note: there are no amounts given for each recipe as muffin pans tend to vary in size.

BACON CHEESE GREEN CHILE MUFFINS
These can be served for breakfast – accompany soup or salad. Also, they are delicious with salsa!

5 rashers turkey bacon
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper [if desired] ¼ cup canola oil
½ cup chopped green chiles [can use canned] 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 egg
¾ cup buttermilk

Pre heat the oven to 400.  Grease or spray a 12 cup muffin pan.
Cook the bacon according to package directions. Drain on kitchen paper and then chop into small pieces. Set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt [and pepper if using].
Whisk together the oil, green chiles, grated cheddar, egg and buttermilk.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry JUST until there are no more flecks of flour.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans to just-below the level of the muffin cup and bake for about 25 minutes or until the muffins are risen – golden brown and spring back when lightly touched.
Allow to cool for five minutes, then remove from muffin pan.

GINGER CHEESE MUFFINS
1¾ cups self-rising flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 oz. butter [4 tablespoons] melted
1 egg
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup crystallized ginger, diced [available at better supermarkets]

Pre heat oven to 350.
Stir together the flour, baking soda and powdered ginger.
Stir in the melted butter.
Whisk together the egg, milk, honey and cheese and pour into the flour mixture.
Fold in the crystallized ginger.
Spoon into greased or oiled muffin pans about 2/3 full.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned and golden.
Serve hot with butter!

CHOCOLATE APRICOT MUFFINS
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour [see note] 2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 stick [4 oz] butter, melted
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup dried apricots diced
¾ cup chopped walnuts [optional]

Pre heat oven to 350. Grease or oil muffin pans.
Stir together the dry ingredients.
Whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, egg, and vanilla.
Combine the two together mixing JUST until no flour is visible.
Stir in the chocolate chips, apricots and nuts if using.
Spoon into muffin cups to just below the surface.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched.
Cool. Remove from muffin tins.
[Note: If preferred you may use 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour and omit the whole wheat.]

PUMPKIN MUFFINS
2 ¼ cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
Extra brown sugar

Pre heat oven to 400.
Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Whisk together the wet ingredients.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry – stir JUST until moist.
Spoon into oiled or greased muffin cups to just below the surface.
Sprinkle a little brown sugar over each muffin.
Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes.

MIX N MATCH MUFFINS

Basic ingredients:

Dry:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Wet
2 tablespoons canola oil OR 4 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Then CHOOSE one or more additions!
½ cup raisins
¾ cup chopped dates
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ cup chopped nuts
1 cup dried fruit such as cranberries
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup grated apple
Orange or lemon zest
1 – 2 teaspoons lemon juice
Spices: ½ to 1 teaspoon: ginger, cardamom, pumpkin, cinnamon.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

About the Author
McKinney resident Kyra Effren is a contributing writer for TownSquareBuzz.com’s “Food” section.  She is a retired food stylist and contributing writer for the “Food” section of Dallas Morning News. In 1975, Effren opened Cours de Cuisine Cooking School in Dallas and in 1978, she was awarded The Commanderie des Cordon Bleu in France for her contributions to French cooking.   She has edited multiple cookbooks and served as recipe tester for a number of cookbooks including both of the Mansion on Turtle Creek cookbooks by Dean Fearing and baking books by Nick Malgieri.


Kyra welcomes any and all reader comments and suggestions.  What would you like to have for dinner?

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