Friday, November 4, 2011

muffin mania

I have never been that interested in baking, but lately I have started baking muffins like they are going out of style.  I have also started pinning a lot of muffin recipes on Pinterest.  B and C both have to take a snack and a lunch to school every day, and we were tired of sending them with pre-packaged crap.  So I started baking muffins, first from box mixes, then gradually more and more from scratch.  The advantage to muffins over quickbreads and the like is that muffins are easy to grab-and-go, so they are perfect when you don't have time for breakfast or to put in a kid's snack.  The downside is that they can be a teensy bit packed with oil, sugar, butter, and other things that make them delicious but perhaps not so good for you.  Sometimes I try to modify to increase the nutrition and decrease the calorie count, but sometimes I say f- it and just make a tasty muffin.

Here are my favorite three muffins that I've made recently...

1.  Apple muffins.  I wanted to make something fall-ish, and these were the first fall muffin recipe I found.  I made some adjustments, like using crushed-up granola to top the muffins and pureeing the apple peels and adding to the recipe to up the nutritional value.  The commenters to the recipe complained that the muffins didn't peak, but I didn't have this problem -- maybe because I was careful not to overmix, and/or because I melted the butter before I added it.  (The full list of modifications I made is in the comments on Pinterest, for my reference in case I want to make them again.)  In case you're curious, I used Gala apples.  Because they were the cheapest.

Apple Strudel Muffins Recipe

2.  Pumpkin pie muffins.  I just made these about 45 minutes ago.  They are moist, fluffy and delicious.  I actually considered eating all 12 of them, just now.  The entire house smells fantastic -- way better than the pumpkin pie candle I bought at Michael's last week.

3.  Banana chocolate chip muffins.  This is the first "from scratch" muffin I made for the kids.  It all started when my friend who owns a cafe said to me "you cook, right?" and presented me with over six cups of pureed banana.  All I had ordered was a coffee. 

The recipe I use for these is the Better Homes and Gardens banana bread recipe (you know, that red and white checkered cookbook -- if you don't have one, you must go buy one now for when your mother comes to visit), minus the nuts, plus chocolate chips, scooped into a muffin tin rather than a bread pan.  Although I've made these many times, until recently I had never actually eaten one.  Then, B took one with her to an early morning soccer practice.  The kids' dad was holding it for her while she put her cleats on and absent-mindedly took a bite.  He was impressed enough that I decided to try one myself.  They are indeed good.  The banana and chocolate chips are a killer combo.  I don't have a picture of these, since I haven't made them in a while and the recipe is not technically a muffin recipe. But remember the banana bundt?  That was the genesis of the bananas and chocolate chips, way back when.

So there you have it.  My next foray into the world of muffins is going to be a savory muffin - cheese or something, perhaps.  If you comment with muffin recipes for me to try, I will be your best friend.


  1. way easier/light pumpkin muffins/cupcakes:

  2. Not that I have tried your or Theresa's pumpkin muffins, but these are absolutely the best pumpkin muffins in the history of the world:

    I was actually planning on posting the recipe even before I got to the part about you making pumpkin pie muffins. It can also be found in the Ellie Krieger book "The Food You Crave," which is one of the best cookbooks (not to mention healthy cookbooks) I've ever had. I always skip the pumpkin seeds on top because really, who am I trying to impress? They freeze well wrapped individually for a snack too!