Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekend Cooking: Versatile Muffins

Weekend  Cooking is culinary meme hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open for anyone to join at any time.  I can't tell you how many new recipes I have added to my collection, or how many new food related books I have added to the TBR list because of this group.  I LOVE it!!

I have spent the past several weeks detailing various muffin recipes I made on a regular basis when Molly's Muffins was in full swing several years ago.  I thought today's post might focus on how to take a basic recipe and adapt it several ways.

There were two such recipes that I used quite often.  One I recently made for the picture that showcased my Strawberry Picking adventures that resulted in 9 pints of freezer jam.  The muffins do not contain a lot of sugar, which make them ideal for homemade jam and jellies.  I first found this recipe when living in NYC and it was featured on a local Saturday morning program.  Since that time, however, I have read the same recipe in several cookbooks and seen it on numerous online recipe sites:

Basic Muffins (Recipe #1)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 slightly beaten egg
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Melt the butter and set aside to cool
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour - sugar - baking powder)
  3. Make a well in the center and add the egg, milk, and melted butter.
  4. Mix just to combine (over-mixing results in a tougher muffin)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees approximately 12 minutes (of course, it depends on the size of your muffin tins)

While this is a good muffin as is, I would also adapt this recipe to make ~

  • Snickerdoodle Muffins (add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to the batter and when removed from the oven, quickly dip the tops in melted butter and then cinnamon sugar.  Let cool slightly and then watch how quickly they disappear!)
  • Blueberry Muffins (add about 1 cup crushed blueberries to the mixture.  Crushed worked best for the mini muffins, as whole blueberries resulted in uneven baking.  Sometimes I would top the muffins with nutmeg sugar to bring out the flavor of the berries)
  • Eggnog Muffins (I replaced the milk with store-bought eggnog and before putting in the oven I would sprinkle the tops with nutmeg sugar --- approximately 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg added to 1 tablespoon sugar)
  • Jelly Surprise Muffins (these take a little bit more time to prepare, but are well worth the effort.  Fill the tin about 1/3 with muffin batter; spoon a bit of jelly in the center; top with batter to fill tin about 2/3 full) Each bite yields a tasty surprise.

Hopefully these adaptations have helped you imagine some new muffin combinations that you would like to try as well.

This post is rather long - so I think I will post the Basic Muffin recipe #2 next week.

I am currently (if all goes as planned) in Chicago celebrating 28 years of marriage by going to the Art Institute and having Giordanno's deep dish pizza!  I look forward to reading all the Weekend Cooking posts when I return home early next week.


  1. I love the idea of a master recipe from which one can start to make variations. I'm definitely revisiting this when the local blueberries are ready.

  2. Oh, there is nothing more heavenly than some of that deep dish pizza! My mouth is watering. I also think I need me some muffins...

  3. I love it - you could make several different kind of muffins out of one batch!

  4. I'm overloaded with blueberries and think I'll try your basic muffin mix Molly ~~thanks so much

  5. Ooh, I love the jelly surprise muffin idea. Thanks! Have a great weekend, Molly.

  6. The snickerdoodle version sounds especially appealing to me. Hope you're having a fantastic time in Chicago!

  7. thanks for the basic muffin recipe!! I love muffins in the morning with a steaming hot cup of coffee!

  8. Molly, I am so enjoying your series on muffins. I already love muffins but I love your touches, especially nutmeg sugar.

  9. I love, love, love this post!! I'm going to try the snickerdoodle variety this afternoon!

  10. Your muffin variations sound divine (will have to try the Snickerdoodle version). Hope you are having a great celebration in Chicago!


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