Sep 012015
 
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Muffins

Muffins don’t have to be baked in a muffin tin. You can also bake them in an 8 or 9-inch cake pan, or other pans of similar size. If you do have a muffin tin, this recipe makes 6-muffins. You don’t need paper liners. Just grease the muffin cups with solid shortening or no-stick spray. Then fill them as directed.

Plain muffins are good with dinner if you need a hot bread to fill out an otherwise skimpy meal. They make a cheap and handy snack that you can bring with you. If you have a break during the day and everyone else is hitting up the vending machine, take out your homemade muffins instead and you will save the cash while impressing your peers with your baking skills. Plus yours will taste a far sight better than anything you can buy from a vending machine.

Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 baking powder (1/2-tablespoon)
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

To prepare the batter begin by combining the oil, egg and milk in a mixing bowl. Whisk until blended. Measure and add the sugar. Use 1-tablespoon sugar for plain muffins. Also add the salt, baking powder and flour. Mix again until all of the dough particles are moistened. Do not over mix. The whole thing should take about 20 to 30-strokes.

Grease 6-muffin cups or an 8 or 9-inch cake pan with solid shortening. Spoon in the batter. Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before removing from the pan. If you baked your batter in a cake pan, then you may serve them from the pan.

This is the basic recipe. I used to make it every night when I was young and poor. It is so easy and so cheap and so down right good to eat, that it almost seems a shame to expand on it. Notice I say almost, because one of the glorious things about muffins is that this recipe is only the starting point. I will list several easy variations now, and you can go from here in any direction you like.

Breakfast Meat Muffins

First off only use 1-tablespoon of sugar for the sweetener. Next you will need 1/4 to 1/3-cup of finely chopped cooked ham, or 4 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon, or 1/4 to 1/3-cup finely chopped cooked sausage. Stir the meat into the muffin batter after adding the flour. If you like you may also add 1/4-cup of shredded cheese. These are good in lunch boxes instead of a sandwich (pack two) or prepared the night before starting off on an early road trip. Add a thermos of coffee and you’ll be able to ward off the cost of fast food until lunchtime, when you can picnic on the lunch you packed the night before. Store these in the fridge if you keep them overnight.

Cereal Muffins

Prepare the basic recipe using 2-tablespoons of sugar. Add 1/2-cup of cooked cereal. You may use cooked oatmeal, or grits, or rice, or farina, or whatever you have left over. This makes about 9-muffins. If you don’t have that many muffin cups then bake the batter in a cake pan. Rice is my favorite addition.

Cheese Muffins

These are a favorite at my house. Add 1/4 to 1/2-cup of shredded cheese to the batter after mixing in the flour. If you are using grated Parmesan, only add 3-tablespoons of it. I usually add a 1/2-cup of cheddar and then use it a an accompaniment to meatless meals. For the sweetener only use 1-tablespoon of sugar.

Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

Add 1/4-cup of raisins and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the batter. Use 1/4-cup of sugar for the sweetener.

Cornmeal Muffins

Replace 1/2-cup of white flour with cornmeal. Use 2-tablespoon of sugar for the sweetener.

Double Corn Muffins

This is an old southern favorite. Replace 1/2-cup of flour with cornmeal. Add 1/2-cup of well-drained cooked corn or frozen corn (no need to thaw) to the muffin batter after adding the flour. Use 2-tablespoons sugar for the sweetener. These are good with fried chicken.

Whole Wheat Muffins

Use half or all whole wheat flour instead of the white flour called for. Use 2 to 3-tablespoons of brown sugar for the sweetener. White sugar will work too, but brown sugar tastes a little better.

Fruit Muffins

Use 1/4-cup of sugar for the sweetener. Add 1/2-cup of chopped fruit (canned or fresh) or 1/2-cup of fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw them). Chopped, fresh apple is especially good. You can also add 1/2-teaspoon cinnamon if desired.

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