I’m not sure why fresh-baked blueberry muffins sound so fancy, when they are so quick and easy to bake, you’ll wonder why you don’t make them more often! Especially if you freeze them individually in foil, so that you can heat one at a time up in the toaster oven and get that hot-from-the-oven effect any time. Say “I love you” with a muffin!
I like Betty Crocker’s 1971 “Basic Bakings” because not only are the instructions, well, basic, but also because they offer variations to most of the recipes – ways to change and “customize” the recipes that will also get you thinking creatively about what else you might do. This is a perfect method for the beginning baker, who needs to see that the recipe itself is easy enough, and then to see how it can be changed when they feel ready for adventure.
Muffins, like fruit breads, are one of those easy-to-bake joys that just work. The self-defined portion control and the ability to make almost endless varieties mean that I bake muffins of some type or another just about every week. Hello: NO trans fats and no paying $4.00 each at a café.
One final note about fruit muffins: I have a secret trick with fruit, because I always have a lot of fresh berries around, but if it looks like I won’t eat them within a couple of days, I freeze them (rinsed, with any stems removed) in 1 cup containers and use them either in smoothies or in baking. See how green I am? This is all part of my secret plan to use this blog to reduce my readers’ carbon foot-prints…
1 cup milk
¼ cup salad oil
2 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms only of 12 medium muffin cups. In mixing bowl, beat egg slightly with fork. Stir in milk and oil. Add remaining ingredients all at once, mixing just until flour is moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 30 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan; serve hot. 12 muffins.
• Fruit Muffins: Fold one of these into batter with the last few strokes: 1 cup fresh blueberries or ¾ cup drained canned blueberries / 1 cup finely cut up raisins / 1 cup finely cut up dates / 1 cup shredded coconut
• Dinner Muffins: Fold one of these into the batter with the last few strokes: ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese / ¼ cup snipped chives / ¼ cup crumbled crispy fried bacon (** and why NOT all three? CS)
• Children’s Surprise Muffins: Fill each muffin cup just 1/3 full. Drop ½ tsp jam or jelly in center of each; top with batter to fill cup 2/3 full.
• Crunchy Nut-Topped Muffins: Mix ¼ cup brown sugar (packed), ¼ cup chopped nuts and ¼ tsp cinnamon in a small bowl. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture on batter in each cup.