Homemade muffins give a delicious lift to even the simplest meal. I love muffins! Muffins are classified as a quick bread, rather than a yeast bread, because most muffins (there are a few exceptions) do not contain yeast. My great-grandmother, Addie Matilda Clark Warren, made the best muffins I have ever eaten and unfortunately for our family, the recipe died with her (if there was a recipe)! Her muffins contained whole wheat and wheat germ as well as yeast and nothing was finer than a hot muffin, fresh from the oven, with real butter melting on it.
Most muffins rely on eggs, baking powder and/or baking soda as their leavening agents. Leavening agents release gas bubbles into the batter causing them to expand or rise – thus producing the porous structure or texture of the baked item. This action is what yeast does for bread, producing a fine texture in the finished product.
Beware of over mixing muffins! The mixture should be stirred together until the dry ingredients are just moistened by the wet ingredients. Over mixing cause large carbon dioxide bubbles in the batter which causes tunneling or big holes in the baked muffin.
Muffins are wonderful any time of the day but the best time, in my humble opinion, is when they are hot, right out of the oven. Of course muffins can be reheated (nuked) at a later time. Muffins freeze well – just pop them into a zip top freezer plastic bag and label it. (If you don’t label it you’ll be playing a guessing game! I know, I’ve been there and done that!) To reheat a frozen muffin of regular size, microwave it for one minute. Then check it to see if more time is needed in the microwave.
If you’re trying to lose weight, pay attention to the size of muffins. So many muffins in the stores I frequent are so large they should count as 2 or more muffins when it comes to calories and sugar. There should be a difference in muffins and cupcakes! Seriously, those jumbo muffins may turn us into jumbo people. Enough preaching!
The first muffin recipe I want to share with you is for Pumpkin Muffins. I love pumpkin, and keep cans of it in my pantry year round. I have been known to make a pumpkin pie at a time of the year when it’s not traditional to have pumpkin pie!
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
- 1/2 cup pecans (or raisins)
- Combine sugar, butter and molasses; beat well.
- Add egg and pumpkin, beating until smooth.
- Stir together remaining ingredients; add to pumpkin mixture, stirring until just moistened (the batter will be lumpy).
- Fill lightly greased muffin pans half full.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes.
- Muffins may be frozen and reheated for a minute in the microwave.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- Place all dry ingredients in a bowl; mix with a spoon.
- Add egg, milk, oil and lemon extract.
- Fold in blueberries.
- Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full.
- Bake at 400 degrees F. for 16-18 minutes, or until nicely browned.
- If desired, after baking, spread butter on top of muffins and sprinkle with sugar.
- If you don't have lemon extract, you may substitute lemon juice in the same amount.
Are you ready for fall? I’m ready! I read on social media that fall is a southerner’s reward for making it through the hot summer and I couldn’t agree more!
Remember to Savor the Flavor!