Thursday, June 19, 2014

Going Back To Scratch-Made Muffins

I have to confess, I have rarely made muffins from scratch in the past several (ten?) years. I don't know why. Before moving to Colorado, I would blame the lack of time. Now I'll blame it partly on the altitude. I worry I'll wind up with flat tops. But muffins from scratch are so fast and easy (and YUMMY), flat tops or not!

Last week, I was flipping through this old Better Homes & Gardens recipe magazine that I picked out of the free bin at the "Friends Of The Library" bookstore.

It was published in 1971. Some of the images look as unappealing as the 70's themselves but I found lots of great recipes to try - one of which was the "Best-Ever Muffins".

You can see the original version above in the picture. I used the option for blueberry muffins and made a couple changes - most notably the oven temperature (because of the altitude). The 375°F oven temperature worked for a 6000 ft altitude. A 400°F oven would have resulted in very overdone muffins.

Blueberry Muffins
- adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens Best-Ever Muffins recipe for higher altitudes

Muffin Ingredients
1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 TBS sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, melted (or coconut or vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 cup fresh (or thawed and drained) blueberries

Topping (optional)
2 TBS butter, melted
additional sugar for sprinkling

Grease and flour a 12 cavity muffin pan (or use baking spray). Preheat oven to 375°F.

Sift flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. Combine the butter, vanilla, egg and milk in another container. Add liquids into the dry ingredients all at once and stir until just blended.

In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Fold the sugar-coated blueberries into the batter.

Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake on center rack until golden  - 20 to 25 minutes (I bake mine for about 25 minutes).

Optional - Dip the tops of baked muffins in melted butter and sprinkle with sugar before serving.

Makes 12 muffins.

I really like these muffins. I must say that after years and years of muffins made from pre-made mixes, the most noticeable difference was the lack of "sweet". Don't get me wrong, they are plenty sweet, but they aren't nearly as sweet as muffins made from a pre-packaged mix. These muffins had more flavor. And of course the fresh (an even frozen) blueberries are a HUGE difference from the dehydrated "blueberry flavored nuggets" found in those store-bought mixes.

I think I'll try the same recipe with different add-ins. Perhaps pear and cranberry or applesauce and cinnamon and of course banana and walnut, though The Girl may protest because she can't eat nuts with her braces.

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