Welcome to One-Quarter Acres

Here's a chronicle of life on a plot of land right smack in the suburbs in Minnesota, whose owners would much prefer to be in the middle of nowhere.

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Use your imagination" muffins

First, imagine a picture of really delicious muffins here.

Second, imagine these muffins brimming with any sort of fruit, nut, berry, or other goodie possible. The sky is the limit. This is a recipe you can experiment with and the results will be delicious despite your lack of adherence to a specific recipe. This is how I like to cook, using recipes as a guide instead of gospel.

I also will not micromanage your baking. The original recipe is very specific about whisking dry ingredients together, adding things in a specific way. You can do that if you want. Me? I dump things in a bowl and as long as I don't mix the flour very long, they turn out.

Use your imagination muffins
Adapted from Elise's blueberry muffin recipe. Makes big, bakery-style 12-16 muffins, but cooked in a regular tin. The thick "liquid" used to bind everything together - yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk - enables you to really mound the batter up and get a big, puffy muffin. These are fantastic straight out of the oven.

3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk
Plus: mix-ins of your choice (see sample variations)

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Oil or grease a standard muffin tin. You will need 12 to 16 spots, and will definitely want to use a tin rather than any stand-alone reusable muffin papers, as these spread a little on the top.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated after each one. Add vanilla/almond extract.
  4. Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix to combine.
  5. Mix in yogurt/sour cream/buttermilk.
  6. Gently fold in flour. (Or, throw caution to the wind and dump it in your mixer, furiously beat it just until it comes together, and hope it doesn't become tough.)
  7. Fold in whatever mix-ins you're using.
  8. Mound the batter into each tin, going for about an inch over the top of the pan.
  9. Bake until muffins are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.  

  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) and 1/2 t. lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) with almond extract
  • 2 cups diced apples mixed with 1/4 cup of the sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and any other sweet spices you like (I use allspice), and a pinch of salt and left to sit while the remaining ingredients are mixed
  • 1 1/2 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen), 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, and orange zest if you have it
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped strawberries or whole raspberries
  • Whatever your little heart desires


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