Tag Archives: muffins

Best Damn Muffins

2014-08-12 15.52.12I may never make another muffin again. In my opinion, this is the holy grail of muffin recipes! Keep in mind that these are not your healthy, low-fat variety of muffin but nor are they cupcakes either. The beauty of this recipe is it is versatile: the batter gives a nice base for adding any kind of fruit or nut. I think it’s best with a sour fruit like cranberries or red currants. (The muffins in the photo are red currant and blueberry.) They are good even on day two and freeze well!

If you want to veganize it, replace the butter with canola oil, use egg replacer in place of the eggs (flax eggs would probably work really well too), and make vegan buttermilk by stirring in a teaspoon of white vinegar into a half cup of soy milk. I have yet to try veganizing this recipe but I see no reason why these substitutions wouldn’t work.

Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small bowl. (For a lower-fat option, skip this step and double the canola oil below.)

In a large bowl, mix together:
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp salt

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together:
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
And then add the melted butter.

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and mix just until incorporated. Add in 11/2 cups of berries such as cranberries (frozen or fresh) and any other fun things you like: pecan pieces, pumpkin seeds, etc. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups (either lined or greased) and top with a sprinkling of coarse sugar (optional). Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Try and let them cool for at least 15 minutes before attacking.

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Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

P1020200It was Sunday and I had been unsuccessfully fighting a virus for the past few days. Apparently staying up late and drinking far too much had not boosted my immune system enough to ward off the sickies so I was resorting to the rather boring traditional method of staying in, drinking (non-alcoholic) fluids, and resting. But I wasn’t sick enough to warrant lying on the couch all day, plus I was craving chocolate. And not chocolate in bar form, of which I had plenty, but rather in a soft, flaky, cakey form. Remembering that I had bought a can of pumpkin a few weeks prior, I quickly scooted on over to my current favourite vegan baking site, Post Punk Kitchen, where the creative Isa has yet to disappoint me. Sure enough, I found a recipe for a chocolate pumpkin loaf. However since both my loaf pans were dirty, and sick people shouldn’t be doing the dishes, muffins it was! And since I had no applesauce, as the original recipe calls for, I simply added more pumpkin. Taking them out of the oven, I had my doubts that they’d baked properly. They looked….wet. The tried and true toothpick method yielded gooeyness but I was not convinced it wasn’t simply from melted chocolate chips. Since they were vegan I decided to risk not putting them back in the oven. Plus I desperately wanted to eat them immediately. Turns out: good decision. They did sink a little, but they are soft and moist without being undercooked and everything my virus-addled body was craving. I cannot wait to make them again.  I’m writing out the recipe here as I made it, but I encourage everyone to head on over to the PPK and check out the original recipe, which has some other ingredient suggestions, and do some hunting for other tasty recipes while you’re there.

You need 2 bowls for this recipe, both a decent size.

In one bowl, mix:
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
2 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup cocoa powder (try to use Dutch processed cocoa and not a cheaper one like Fry’s)

In the other bowl, mix:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

Boil some water in a kettle. Pour 1/3 cup of boiling water into the bowl with the cocoa powder and mix well until it is smooth. Then add:
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix until combined.

Mix together half the flour mixture with the chocolate/pumpkin mixture. Add 1 tbsp of boiling water to help incorporate it. Then add the rest of the flour and repeat the process. Do not overmix. Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and mix just to incorporate. Measure batter into lined muffin cups and bake about 30 minutes at 350. The beauty of making muffins versus a loaf is the cooling time is so much less with muffins!

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