Friday, September 30, 2011

Waking Up to Muffins

Muffins are one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast.  Especially when I've baked them ahead of time and tucked a whole batch in the freezer. This makes the first meal of the day a no-fuss, oh-so-yummy occasion.  And what better way is there to start the day?

I recently baked a couple of delicious recipes and thought I'd pass along the goodness.  These are two very different kinds of muffins, but I'm currently in love with them both.  They are taken from the February/March 2008 issue of Cook's Country Magazine.


Blueberry-Pear-Ginger-Oatmeal Muffins
First up we have these deliciously good-for-you muffins with an incredibly long name.  You'd think with a name like that, it might cover all the major ingredients.  But there are still a few important goodies not mentioned.  Like almonds.  And raisins.  And cinnamon.  But I suppose blueberry-pear-raisin-ginger-cinnamon-almond-oatmeal muffins would be too much of a mouthful?  Maybe so.

These muffins might look rather ordinary on the outside....


....but biting into one opens up a whole new world of happiness.

I don't remember ever tasting a blueberry-pear combination before and I didn't expect it to be anything spectacular.  But I was wrong.  It really is spectacular.   I actually doubled the amount of spices from the original recipe, and next time I might even add a little more ginger--since it's in the name, you really ought to notice it, don't you think?  They are perfectly wonderful as is (the recipe below includes my increased spices) but if you're a big fan of spices, feel free to bump them up even more than I did.


Dutch Apple Cheese Muffins
And now for something completely different.  But it's probably not what you think.  The cheese element here is an actual hunk of cheddar.  I know, it sounds a bit odd.  Especially if you've never liked the idea of topping your apple pie with a slice of cheddar.  I'm definitely in that category, so I hope you'll be brave and try these.



They only have a touch of sweetness from the apples and cinnamon on top, which wonderfully complements the golden, cheesy goodness of the muffin.  They don't taste like dessert to me, which was a little disappointing at first.  But once I'd thrown out my expectations, I couldn't get enough of these and had to whip up a second batch.  They make excellent breakfast muffins, and even my mom, who didn't think she'd like them much, really did like them.  A lot.


Recipes
Both muffin recipes are below, including links to printable versions.  Now go bake some muffins and start your day out with happy deliciousness!
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Blueberry-Pear-Ginger-Oatmeal Muffins
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
 2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg plus 2 egg whites
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 firm pear, peeled, cored, and chopped fine
1-1/4 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) blueberries
Topping:
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour 12-cup muffin tin
  2. For the muffins, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in large bowl.  Whisk milk, sugar, egg, egg whites, and oil in another bowl.  Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until combined, then fold in raisins, pear, and blueberries.
  3. For the topping, combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin and sprinkle evenly with sugar mixture.  Top with almonds, pressing gently to adhere.
  4. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.  Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to rack.  Cool 10 minutes longer before serving.
Cook’s Country Magazine, February/March 2008

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Dutch Apple Cheese Muffins

Printable Version

Muffins:
        2 cups all-purpose flour
        1/2 cup sugar
        1 tablespoon baking powder
        8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
        8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
        1 large egg
        3/4 cup whole milk
        1 pound tart apples, peeled, halved, cored, and sliced into thin half-moons


Glaze:
        1/3 cup sugar
        2 tablespoons water
        2 tablespoons unsalted butter
        1 tablespoon lemon juice
        1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Directions:
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour 12-cup muffin tin (including the reas between muffin cups, as glaze will run onto pan when applied to muffins during baking).
  2. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cheese in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal; transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Whisk egg and milk together, then slowly stir into flour mixture until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin.  Arrange apple slices, cut-side down, on top of batter, pressing gently to adhere.  Bake until edges of muffins are just golden, about 15 minutes.
  5. While the muffins are baking, heat sugar, water, butter, lemon juice, and cinnamon in saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  6. Once edges of muffins are just golden, brush muffins with glaze.  Return to oven and bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 10 minutes.
  7. Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to rack.  Cool 10 minutes longer before serving.

Cook’s Country Magazine, February/March 2008

4 comments:

  1. yes, I was quite shocked at how much I loved them!

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  2. The blueberry pear ones sound marvelous. (I often increase spices in baked goods, too.) Muffins are probably my favorite breakfast treat. I may have to find a way to make these.

    Apple-cheese is intriguing, but I do occasionally snack on that combo. Hmmm.

    May God grant you a really lovely weekend and worship time.

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  3. @Sheilah: Oh, Mom! People are going to think you *expect* my cooking to be bad! I am really happy you liked my apple-cheese muffins, though :o).

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  4. @tinuviel: You'll have to let me know if you get a chance to bake the blueberry-pear muffins! Glad to have another "muffin breakfast" lover in my list of friends :o). My weekend was exceptionally busy but quite wonderful. I hope yours was restful and encouraging, Friend!

    ReplyDelete