---- — Hot muffins right out of your own oven to make breakfast a bit special for your guests or family, or perhaps as a surprise for your friends at work with their coffee break.
The hardest decision is deciding which kind to make; fruit-filled, such as this recipe, blueberry, oat-streusel, carrot-walnut, and so many more variations; old favorites like corn, and raisin bran, and new fave’s such as macadamia white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake. The possibilities are endless.
One of the biggest advantages to making your own muffins is that yours will have much, much less sugar compared to ones you buy pre-made, and you have some control in lowering the fat content by using low-fat milk, egg substitutes, etc..
Muffins, as well as scones, are traditionally not too sweet by using less processed sugar.
Tips When Baking Muffins:
To prevent tunnels and peaks in muffins, stir the wet into the dry ingredients just until blended. Lumpy muffin batter is ok.
If you want a more nutritious muffin, substitute white whole wheat flour for half of the all purpose flour.
For less mess, use a spring-action ice cream scoop to fill muffin cups.
You can make jumbo-sized muffins in 6-ounce custard cups, but remember to increase the baking time.
Arrange oven racks so that muffins bake in the center of the oven.
Check for doneness 5-7 minutes before end of baking time to avoid over baking, as ovens can differ slightly in temp.
Cranberry Almond Muffins
1 and one-half cups all-purpose flour
one-half cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
one-quarter teaspoon baking soda
one-quarter teaspoon salt
one-half cup sour cream
one-quarter cup butter, melted
one-quarter teaspoon almond extract
three-quarter cup sliced almonds, divided
one-half cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
In a bowl, combine dry ingredients (first 5 listed).
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream, butter and extract; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in one-half cup of the almonds.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups half full; drop 1 tablespoon cranberry sauce into the center of each muffin. Cover with enough batter to fill cups three-fourths full; sprinkle with remaining almonds.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 8 muffins.
Seasonal Spiced Coffee
Add three-quarters teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice or Chinese five-spice powder, to one-half cup ground coffee. Brew as usual.
Readers write in with memories and tips
Dot lets us know how she spiced up her bread pudding, re-living a childhood memory,
And Sharon lets us in on a great serving tip for your Holiday meal; make use of your crock-pot:
When I read the recipe in the paper for your bread pudding it brought back memories of my grandmother.
I would stay with her in Lawrence as a tiny child, and her bread puddings and rice puddings were my favorite dishes. This was in the early 1950s, and I imagine these were desserts she also made during the depression years when it was necessary to use up every bit of the loaf of bread, and stretch out the milk and eggs as far as they could go.
I followed your recipe, but used the heels and enough bread from a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread that I had in the house to make the 2 cups of cubed bread. I also added some freshly ground nutmeg, a couple of shakes of extra cinnamon, and a handful of golden raisins.
With these delicious spices, I didn’t try the lemon sauce this time. Oh my, the smell itself was enough to make our mouths water, and the buttery taste of that first warm bite brought to mind a mouthful of butterscotch ... I might try brown sugar next time to intensify that taste. The next day we finished it up cold, with whipped cream on top.
Both warm and cold, it was wonderful.
Thank you for bringing back a taste of my childhood!
I enjoyed all your suggestions (6-day Countdown) for early preparation for Thanksgiving (so important, especially as I get older).
Most of our family likes butternut squash for Thanksgiving, but a few prefer turnip, so I always prepare both in addition to whatever else I am serving. I prepare those the day ahead and heat on Thanksgiving Day. A couple of years ago I found myself rushing around to heat things up in the microwave. My crock-pot has the usual insert and it also has a divided insert. Now I put the cooked squash and turnip in the crock-pot on low on Thanksgiving morning; it’s all nice and hot for dinner and stays warm while we are eating.
Your chutney recipe has become a “regular” on our Thanksgiving table. My grandson just asked last week if I was making it.
Thanks for the great recipes every week!
Roger & Sharon
Patricia Altomare invites feedback. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write care of Gloucester Daily Times, 36 Whittemore St., Gloucester, MA 01930.