Saturday, March 20, 2010

Big, Beautiful Muffins

If you happen to read my Words Page, you would have seen that I checked out The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book from the library yesterday. Then, I sat down to determine exactly which recipes I could manage to make in the 3-week checkout time. The conclusion: I need to buy the book.

This was the first recipe out of the book, and we couldn't agree on a flavor, so I made a half batch of lemon-berry for Mac and the other half mocha-chip for me! We both liked the berry ones best. Add whatever you'd like to the basic batter and they should turn out great! Also, please note that the picture makes them look overcooked, but it's the espresso powder and whole-wheat flour... I NEVER overcook my baked goods. :)


3 c. flour (I used 2 c. whole wheat + 1 c. all-purpose)
1 c. white sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. plain yogurt (Can use homemade!)
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt and eggs together until smooth. At this point, if you are making two different kinds of muffins, you need to split the dry mixture and yogurt mixture in half because there will be different things you add to the yogurt mixture. If you're making all one kind, continue on...
3. Gently fold the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined, then fold in the melted butter (don't forget to split the butter in half also)
4. Using a greased 1/3 c. measure, portion the batter into each muffin cup. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs, about 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
5. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving (or devour immediately as we do).

For Lemon-Berry:
Add 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest to the yogurt mixture (I eye-balled about 1/2 tsp since I split the batch in half). Toss 1 1/2 c. fresh or not-thawed frozen berries with 1 tablespoon flour, then gently fold into the batter (used 3/4 c. of berries and 1/2 tbsp. of flour). Tossing with flour keeps the berries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.

For Mocha-Chip:
Add 3 tablespoons instant espresso (again, since only 1/2 batch, I used 1 1/2 tablespoons) to the yogurt mixture and fold 1 cup (I only used 1/2 c.) semisweet chocolate chips into the batter.