The 2020 Holidays Recipe Collection
How you doin’? I thought I had covered most of the basics about baking muffins in Cooking Lesson #106 and then Joan surprised me with this simple yet delicious basic muffin recipe.
Did you know that muffins became most popular in England during the 19th century, when muffin men traversed the town streets at teatime, ringing their bells and yelling, Muffins to eat! Kind of like the Good Humor Man of their time.
Do not confuse quick-bread batter muffins (American Muffins) with English Muffins. Samuel Bath Thomas emigrated from Plymouth, England, to New York City in 1875. By 1880, he had opened his own bakery at 163 Ninth Avenue. Using his mother's recipe, he began making 'English' muffins, selling them from the bakery direct to hotels and grocery stores. Thus the brand you see in the store today, Thomas’s. But I digress.
What’s the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? American muffins’ outer texture is bit than cupcakes. They are denser and feel more like munching into bread with fillings like nuts or fruits in them. Muffins, in general, are meant to be savory foods in contrast to the sweet taste and softer texture of cupcakes. Freshly baked muffins are coveted for their tops while cupcakes feature that sweet, sugary frosting.
The muffin top is the crisp upper part of the muffin, which has developed a "browned crust that's slightly singed around the edges". In 2018, McDonald's restaurant announced they were planning to sell muffin tops as part of its McCafé breakfast menu. Let me refer you to the “Muffin Top” episode on Seinfeld (Air date: May 8, 1997) where Elaine opens a muffin top only bakery… but what to do with all the muffin bottoms?
Using Joan’s basic recipe, you can make all kinds of muffins with fruit including blueberries, cherries, peaches and more. You can also add nuts to both the batter and the topping. If you want to have a platter full of warm, delicious muffins in under 30 minutes try this recipe.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 to 25 minutes
Yield: 10 muffins
For the muffin batter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup unsalted butter melted
1 large egg, room temperature and beaten
1/2 cup milk warm or room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2-1/2 tablespoons butter melted
To make the muffins
ChefSecret: Do not over mix the batter or you will have tough, not tender, muffins.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “What types of jokes are allowed during quarantine? Inside jokes!”
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Here is wishing you the very best for the upcoming holidays. To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind welcoming in the holiday season. If you have a little extra in your pockets to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America. Thanks for reading.
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