Saturday, January 15, 2011

More Muffins?

I'm not sure these are even that healthy. If someone wants to do a nutritional breakdown for me, I 'd love to include the information here.

What these are are yummy and fast. So fast, in fact, that I whipped up a batch of them Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning, before school! Wednesday we did Blueberry Muffins, Thursday Blueberry-Raspberry and Friday (I finally got smart and mixed the dry ingredients together the night before) Blueberry-Raspberry-Blackberry. (We're spoiled here in the lower mainland of BC - every summer the guys and I go blackberry picking on backroads and along unused railway lines so our freezer is always full of free berries.)

The recipe is Mark Bittman's. Of course it is! :-) He calls it Muffins, Infinite Ways. Click on the link and you'll see his lovely photos and be able to read some of the infinite ways you can adjust this recipe. What follows is how I prepared them with berries.

Note: If you are using frozen berries (and since it's winter time unless you live someplace hot you should be using frozen!), don't thaw them before adding them. That will make a gooey mess.

Cyn's Version of Mark Bittman's Muffins, the Berry Way

Makes: 9 large muffins
Time:  About 40 minutes - less if you are going like stink to get them done before you have to leave the house for school - more if you haven't had your coffee yet.

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for the muffin tin
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if needed 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup berries (any combination, fresh or frozen)
  • grated lemon zest (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Grease 9 cups of a 12-cup muffin tin and line them with paper or foil muffin cups if you like (I didn't).
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat together the egg, milk, vanilla, and melted butter or oil in another bowl. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, combine the ingredients swiftly, stirring and folding rather than beating and stopping as soon as all the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter should be lumpy, not smooth, and thick but quite moist; add a little more milk or other liquid if necessary.
  3. Fold in the berries and lemon zest, if using, gently.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them almost to the top. Pour 1/4 cup water into the empty cups. Bake for 20 -30 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Note: I have a hot oven and even when I adjust the temperature, these puppies are done in about 20 minutes so I set the timer for the low end and check with a toothpick every time.) Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before taking them out of the tin. Serve warm.
Notes from the eaters:
They rise beautifully. I bet you could add some toasted wheat germ or corn bran. I'm going to try that next time. My easy to please boy loves these. The less easy to please boy pronounced the Blueberry-Raspberry variation the best, with plain Blueberry coming in a close second.

Enjoy! I'll add photos next week when I make the next batch.

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