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The big muffin tasting.

Among recipes most frequently shared by our readers are ones for muffins. Here are a half-dozen rated as outstanding by Sunset taste panels. They range from tender and sweet to dense and wholesome, and use a variety of flours, cereals, fresh and dried fruits, and spices.

To reheat muffins, place in a single layer on a flat pan or sheet of foil; cover with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven until warm, 15 to 18 minutes.

Heavenly Pumpkin Gems

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/2 cup salad oil, or butter or margarine (1/4 Lb.) at room temperature

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup sour cream

2 small packages (3 oz. each) cream cheese, each cut into 6 cubes

3 tablespoons apricot preserves

1/4 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In another bowl, beat oil and the 1/2 cup of sugar until blended. Add the eggs, pumpkin, and sour cream and beat until thoroughly mixed. Stir pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be stiff).

Spoon batter into 12 paper-lined 2 1/2-inch muffin cups, filling halfway. Place 1 cheese cube in the center of each cup; top cubes equally with preserves. Completely cover cheese and jam with remaining batter. Sprinkle muffin tops with almonds and remaining sugar. Bake in a 400 degrees oven until well browned, about 45 minutes. Remove from pan and cool at least 10 minutes. If made ahead, wrap airtight and chill up until the next day; freeze to store longer (thaw wrapped). To reheat, follow preceding directions. Makes 12.-Ayako Hill, Sacramento.

Per muffin: 312 calories; 5.2 g protein; 18 g fat,33 g carbo.; 166 mg sodium; 55 mg chol

Peanut Butter-Banana Bran Muffins

1 cup whole-wheat flour 1 cup bran cereal (not flakes) 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional) 1/2 cup salad oil, or butter or margarine (1/4 Lb.) at room temperature

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 medium-size)

1/2 cup chunk-style peanut butter 1/2 cup milk

In a small bowl, mix together flour, bran cereal, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat oil with sugar to blend. Add eggs, bananas, and peanut butter and beat until well mixed; add milk. Stir dry ingredients into liquids just until moistened.

Spoon batter equally into 12 greased or paper-lined 2 1/2-inch muffin cups. Bake in a 350 degree oven until well browned, about 30 minutes; remove from pan. If made ahead, let cool, then wrap airtight and hold at room temperature up until the next day; freeze to store longer (thaw wrapped). To reheat, follow preceding directions. Makes 12.-Karen Yamaguchi, Chula Vista, Calif.

Per muffin: 265 calories; 6.4 g protein; 16 g fat; 29 g carbo. ; 207 mg sodium; 37 mg chol.

Blueberry Muffins

After adding blueberries to batter, work quickly and handle as little as possible. Otherwise, the baking soda may turn the berries green (a harmless reaction).

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

2 teaspoons baking soda

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup salad oil, or butter or margarine (1/8 Lb.) melted and cooled

2 cups blueberries, fresh or unsweetened frozen (unthawed)

In a large bowl, stir together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 1 cup of the sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. In another bowl,

beat eggs to blend with buttermilk and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just to moisten. Add blueberries, and stir briefly and gently to mix through batter.

Spoon batter equally into 12 greased or paper-lined 2 1/2-inch muffin cups (cups will be very full). Sprinkle tops with remaining brown sugar. Bake in a 375 degree oven until tops are well browned, about 35 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool 5 minutes. If made ahead, let cool, wrap airtight, and hold at room temperature up until next day; freeze to store longer (thaw wrapped). To reheat, follow preceding directions. Makes 12.-Kathy English, Salt Lake City.

Per muffin: 265 calories; 5.9 g protein; 6.2 g fat 48 g carbo, 331 mg sodium; 37 mg chol.

Homestead Bran Muffins

This batter keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, so you can have fresh, hot muffins any time you like. (If batter is made ahead, be sure to stir it before using.) Although you can bake muffins on demand, you can also store them using the procedure given in preceding reripes.

3 cups bran cereal (not flakes)

3/4 cup boiling water

3 tablespoons thawed frozen orange juice concentrate

1/2 cup salad oil

2 large eggs

2 cups buttermilk

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

21/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup dried currants

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup bran cereal, water, orange juice concentrate, and oil; stir to mix. Add eggs and buttermilk; mix well. In a small bowl, mix remaining bran, flour, sugar, baking soda, and currants. Add to liquid mixture and stir until evenly moistened. If made ahead, cover batter and chill up to 2 weeks.

Spoon batter equally into 24 greased or paper-lined 2 1/2 -inch muffin cups; sprinkle evenly with nuts. Bake in a 350 degree oven until well browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from pan. Makes 24.-Janice Condit, Placerville, Calif.

Per muffin: 213 calories; 4.7 g protein; 7.2 g fat 37g carbo; 211 mg sodium; 18 mg chol.

Spicy Apple Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup nonfat milk

1/3 cup salad oil

1 large tart apple (such as Granny Smith or Newtown Pippin), peeled, cored, and finely diced

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt. In a large bowl, beat egg, milk, oil, and apple to blend. Add the dry ingredients and stir just to moisten.

Spoon batter equally into 12 greased or paper-lined 2 1/2-inch muffin cups. Bake in a 350 degree oven until well browned, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool 5 minutes. If made ahead, cool, then wrap airtight and hold at room temperature up until next day; freeze to store longer (thaw wrapped). To reheat, follow preceding directions. Makes 12.-Doris M. Rogers, Port Orchard Wash.

Per muffin: 174 calories; 3.1 g protein; 6.6 g fat; 26 g carbo,- 202 mg sodium; 18 mg chol.

California Breakfast Muffins

3/4 cup oat bran

3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1/4 cup toasted wheat germ

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 large eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup salad oil

1/3 cup milk

1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 2 large)

3/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a small bowl, mix together oat bran, rolled oats, wheat germ, flour, and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat to blend eggs, applesauce, honey, oil, milk, carrots, raisins, and almonds. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.

Spoon batter equally into 12 greased or paper-lined 2 1/2-inch muffin cups. Bake in a 375 degree oven until well browned, about 35 minutes. Remove from pan and cool 5 minutes. If made ahead, let cool, cover, and hold at room temperature up until next day; freeze to store longer (thaw wrapped). To reheat, follow preceding directions. Makes 12.-Liane Farber San Mateo, Calif.

Per: muffin: 289 calories; 6.2 g protein; 13 g fat 38 g carbo; 128 mg sodium; 36 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Oct 1, 1989
Words:1402
Previous Article:Kitchens and Bathrooms: Planning and Remodeling.
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