Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Muffin Recipes.

Muffins do not equal cupcakes. To me, a good muffin has a hearty quality- usually from the addition of whole grains, tart dairy, or big chunks of nuts of fruit. I don't like them too sweet or soft like cake. They should be fairly simple: worthy of breakfast fare.

I love this pear, ginger, raisin muffin recipe from "Once Upon a Tart." The Chocolate, oatmeal, banana recipe is good, but I probably won't make it again for a long time. It's pleasantly chewy.

Pear Ginger Raisin Muffins
from "Once Upon a Tart"

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large, ripe Anjou or Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup dark raisins

1. Position your oven racks so that one is in the center, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Smear six big muffin tin cups with butter (*I made 12 small ones, but they are damn good big.)
2. Whisk the flours, baking soda, ginger, and salt together in a medium-size bowl.
3. In a seperate, big bowl, whisk the eggs to break up the yolks. Still whisking with one hand, pour in the sugar with the other. Continue whisking for a few minutes, until the eggs begin to pale in color. Whisk in the oil and vanilla.
4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until there is just a little flour visible.
5. Scoop batter up with your spoon and using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter off the spoon into the cups of the muffin tin, filling them almost to the top. Divide the batter evenly between the cups.
6. Place the tin on the center rack of the oven and bake the muffins for 35-40 minutes (more like 15-20 for small ones,) or until a small knife or toothpick inserted deep into the center of one comes out clean.
7. Remove the tin from the oven, and place it on a wire rack. Let the muffins sit for a few minutes in the tin, until they're cool enough to touch. To remove the muffins, flip the tin upside down and let the muffins fall out onto the wire rack to cool. Or, even better, serve warm.

Oatmeal-Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips
from "The Foster's Market Cookbook"

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola or safflower oil
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line 12 large muffin cups with paper lines and spray the top part of the pan lightly with vegetable oil spray.
3. Place the oats on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool.
4. Combine or sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir in the oats.
5. Whisk together the sugar, butter, eggs, bananas, buttermilk, and oil in a seperate bowl until well blended.
6. Add the egg mixture to the flour and stir just until the dry ingredients are moist and blended. Do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips until distributed evenly throughout the batter.
7. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan with a large ice cream scoop (1/3 cup scoop.) The batter will come to the top of the paper liner or pan.
8. Bake 25-30 minutes, until the tops of the muffins spring back when pressed lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
9. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Turn the muffins out of the pan and serve immediately.

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