Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mini-Muffin Madness

It's our week again to bring snacks to my daughter's preschool class, so we decided to make mini-muffins for tomorrow's snack. I used a recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home called Muffin Madness. It has a basic recipe, then gives you several choices to add to the mix for different kinds of muffins. Today we made Banana Muffins and Blueberry-Lemon Muffins. I've made the Apple Muffins before and loved them, but have never tried making a zucchini muffin (or zucchini bread for that matter. Come to think of it, I don't know that I've ever eaten it! I guess that will be added to my list of recipes to try soon.)

Muffin Madness

Basic Wet Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4-1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Basic Dry Ingredients:
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Additional Ingredients-
Banana Muffins: Add 1 1/2 cups of mashed ripe bananas (for me it took 3.5 large bananas to yield that much mash!) to the wet ingredients. If you like, fold 1 cup chopped nuts and/or 1/2 cup of chocolate chips into the batter. (I didn't use either this time)

Blueberry-Lemon Muffins:
Add 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries and 1 tbs freshly grated lemon peel to the wet ingredients.

Apple Muffins:
Add 2 cups of grated tart apples and 1 tsp of freshly grated lemon peel to wet ingredients. Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the dry ingredients. If you like, fold 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter.

Zucchini Muffins:
Add 2 cups of grated zucchini to the wet ingredients, and 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1.2 tsp of ground cardamom to the dry ingredients. Fold 1/2 cup of raisins or currants, and 3/4 cup of chopped nuts if you like, into the batter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir in the fruit or begetable ingredeints of your choice and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and any spices your variation calls for. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined, being careful not to overmix the batter. Fold in the additional ingredients called for in your variation.
Spoon the batter into oiled standard muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. If you are using mini-muffin tins, bake for 10 to 15 minutes. A knife inserted into the center of the muffin should come out clean.
These muffins will keep in a sealed container for 3 to 4 days, * if they escape being devoured hot from the oven.

*That's tough to avoid! They are pretty tasty!

They are more dense than "box made" muffins, and they obviously aren't LowFat (1/2 cup of veg oil???), but they are worth every tasty fat gram and calorie!

I had help from my sous chefs for this one:

Mashing bananas*; spooning batter
*I promise I didn't use the measuring cup that Abby is chewing on for any food prep!

Banana muffin batter; Blueberry-Lemon muffin batter

Mini-muffin madness!!