For those who like to experiment in the kitchen, muffins are a great place to start. Most of us have the basic ingredients — flour (I like to use self-rising), fat of some type, sugar, milk and eggs. To that we can add just about anything we find in the kitchen pantry or refrigerator.
As with many experiments, the results aren’t always what we want, in which case we just try again. This recently happened while deciding on my menu for a cooking class.
Since it was a brunch class, I wanted to include some muffins. I found one recipe that I remembered as being really good. Before deciding to use this recipe, I made a batch of easy lemon poppy seed muffins using lemon yogurt.
They tasted OK, but something wasn’t quite right with the texture. When I substituted sour cream for the yogurt and added some pure lemon extract, they were much better. I’m thinking that the low-fat yogurt did not have enough fat to give the muffins the moist, light texture I wanted.
Sometimes I’ll use whipping cream in the muffins. These don’t need any additional fat since whipping cream is about one-third fat. This gives the Velvet Fudge Muffins a cake-like texture.
Of course, muffins don’t have to be sweet. There are some great savory muffins such as the following Bacon Egg and Cheese Muffins. These are what I call “breakfast in a muffin.”
Velvet Fudge Muffins
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
1 cup whipping cream (not whipped)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease and lightly flour a standard 12-portion muffin pan. Combine flour, sugar and cocoa. Stir to mix. In another bowl, combine the whipping cream, eggs and vanilla. Beat lightly just to blend. Combine the two mixtures and stir only until mixed. Spoon into muffin pan, filling each section about ⅔ full. Bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of muffin. Remove from pan immediately on to rack.
Easy Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
1 ¼ cups biscuit mix
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon poppy seeds
8 ounces sour cream
2 teaspoons lemon extract
Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a standard muffin pan (for 6 muffins). Combine biscuit mix, sugar and poppy seeds. Stir to mix. Add egg, sour cream and extract. Stir well. Spoon into muffin pan, filling each section ⅔ full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of muffin.
Bacon Egg and Cheese Muffins
2 cups self-rising flour
½ cup crumbled crispy
½ cup finely shredded
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup ranch dressing (not the dry mix)
½ cup milk
¼ cup oil
Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease or spray muffin tins. In medium bowl, combine flour, bacon and cheese. Stir to mix. In another bowl, combine the eggs, ranch dressing, milk and oil. Beat with a fork until well mixed. Combine these two mixtures and stir just until mixed. Do not over mix. Spoon into muffin tins filling each section about ⅔ full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of one of the muffins. Remove from pan immediately and serve with butter. Makes 10 muffins.