Saturday, July 3, 2010

Weekend Cooking: Versatile Muffins - Part 2

Weekend Cooking is hosted each week by Beth Fish Reads.  It is a fun meme that provides great new recipes, cookbooks, and other foodie finds.  Follow the link to discover the new posts for this week.

Having been inspired by Lakeside Kitchen's post a few weeks ago, I have focused my Weekend Cooking contributions to muffin recipes from my by-gone days of Molly the Muffin Lady.  I shared recipes for White Gingerbread, Cappuccino Chip, Banana Nut, and Basic Muffins that can be modified in several different ways.  This will probably be the last week of such posts, namely because I am afraid I have bored you with too much on the same topic, and also, because I am running out of the tried and true favorites.  I do have a couple of fallish muffin recipes, but I think I might wait to share those around Thanksgiving.

Today's recipe comes from the small cookbook, Muffins, Nut Breads and More by Katherine Greenberg and Barbara Kyte (copyright 1985).  I purchased this book sometime in the late 1980s, when Molly's Muffins was in its infancy.  I liked the premise of this book because it starts with a basic Quick Bread recipe that yields several batches of muffins.  You premix the dry ingredients and store them in an airtight container.  Once you are ready to prepare one batch of muffins, you measure 2 cups of the dry ingredients, add whatever spices or fillers you choose, moisten with wet ingredients, and bake.  It is that easy - that versatile - and that tasty.

Some of the ways you can modify this recipe to make a smorgasbord of muffins could be as follows (although please do not feel that you are limited to only these suggestions):
  • add crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese for a savory muffin
  • add grated carrot, orange zest and chopped pecans
  • add grated zucchini, chopped walnuts and cinnamon
  • add can of cranberry sauce (not jellied), chopped nuts, and orange juice (my favorite)
  • add peanut butter chips and chocolate chips for a decadent dessert
Well, as you can tell, the possibilities are endless and only limited by your own imagination and ingredients on hand.  I would love to hear what special variations you create!

So without further is the basic recipe.  I hope you enjoy and perhaps sometime during the summer you can make a batch, serve with fresh berries, a glass of lemonade or a cup of coffee, and enjoy these carefree sunny days.

Basic Quick Bread Recipe
(yields approximately 8 cups)

Ingredients for Quick Mix:
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup butter
Directions for Quick Mix:
  1. Blend flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter (any method you choose - either food processor, two knives, or pastry blender) until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  3. Store tightly in refrigerator (up to 2 months) or freezer (up to 4 months)
Ingredients for Muffins:
  • 1/2 cup milk (or other liquid ingredient, depending on muffin variation.  OJ and eggnog work well)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups Quick Mix
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar (depending on your taste preference)
Directions for Muffins:
  1. In a large bowl, mix the milk and egg together
  2. Add the Quick Mix, Sugar, and any other spices or ingredients you choose.
  3. Stir until just moistened.
  4. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full
  5. Bake at 400 degrees approximately 10-12 minutes for mini muffins (slightly longer for regular ones)
Of course, for added decadence, you can top the muffins with a streusel mix before baking - or drizzle with a powder sugar glaze or melted chocolate chips while still warm from the oven.


  1. I would love to try the cranberry, nut, OJ variation. that sounds excellent. although a nice savory muffin is very good too.

  2. All the variations you listed sound great. I'd love to try them all!

  3. oh I like the idea of having a muffin mix on hand.That way it's no trouble to make a batch when one has extra fruit, nuts, or even cheese on hand.

    Your muffins did not bore me at all. I can't wait to see your fall muffins in a few months.

  4. I love that you can have part of it prepared ahead of time!

  5. The cranberry/nut/OJ variation sounds yummy. Would dried cranberries work, as well? I've become addicted to them.

    Made blueberry muffins last weekend & thought of you. The recipe I have is your "basic muffin" almost exactly (there may be a bit more baking powder)!

  6. We've been having fun with muffin experiments lately. It's getting so I think of you every time we make them :-)

  7. Did I tell you that I made your basic muffin recipe last week? Turned out fantabulous, according to my mother who is the world's muffin expert (although for some reason, that phrase these days brings Betty White on Saturday Night Live to mind....).

    So I'm going to keep trying your recipes!


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