Sourdough Blueberry Muffins


After a few months of a baking hiatus, I pulled my sourdough starter (Frank) out of the fridge before thanksgiving.  I baked a couple of loaves but they just aren’t everything they could be. Too dense, too sad-looking. 

So, in an effort to rev up my starter and strengthen it enough to get a great loaf of bread, Frank has been living on the counter being fed twice a day. This creates a lot of leftover starter and we can only eat so much bread. 


This morning, I tried a new recipe from King Arthur Flour–blueberry sourdough muffins. Sounded interesting enough!
Frank didn’t have quite enough volume to get a full cup from him, so I made a half batch which yielded 10 smallish muffins. 

These were tasty but unlike most of my usual muffins. The maple syrup sweetener is very mild so these are much more like enriched bread than muffins. The sourdough flavor is pretty much swamped by the blueberries but it is there if you look for it. Perhaps if my starter was stronger, it would come through more.  Surprisingly, my kids loved these despite the lack of super sweetness. 
Small batch Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

120 grams AP flour

70 grams yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup sourdough starter, fed or unfed

1/8 cup milk

1/2 large egg or 1 yolk

2 tblsp melted butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup blueberries, frozen (wild blueberries are best but I only had regular today)

Demerara or coarse sugar, for sprinkling tops
Preheat oven to 425 and prepare muffin pan.

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another, leaving blueberries out until the last step. Thoroughly stir the wet, then add the wet to the dry. Stir until nearly combined. Add blueberries and stir a few more times. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and top with coarse sugar. 

Bake 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. 

Banana Muffins

  
There is something super sad to me about a bunch of browning bananas. No one wants to eat them and they are even too ugly to use in a smoothie. I could freeze them and keep them for banana ice cream but, honestly, they just get lost in the freezer. 

  

The answer is clearly muffins. Turn that frown upside down, bananas! You are going to go from the saddest part of the fruit basket to the most desirable baked good in the house!

  
I’ve made banana muffins on the blog before but that recipe called for more bananas than I had (and I was far too lazy to adjust the recipe), so I google around until I found this one and it turns out it’s much more delicious and banana-y than my other recipe. See kids? Laziness pays off sometimes. 

Banana chocolate chip muffins
1-1/2 cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 medium ripe bananas

1 large egg

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375.

In a large bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and gently stir until just combined.  Add the chocolate chips stirring just a few times to distribute. 
Fill muffin cups nearly full and bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean (about 18-22 minutes). Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan then turn out onto a cooling rack. 

  

Applesauce Oat Muffins

pile of muffins

With 6 cups of applesauce in the fridge to use up, I went in search of a simple muffin recipe. I stumbled upon this Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffin recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand, so off we went!

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The only substitute I made was regular AP flour for whole wheat flour only because I didn’t have any on hand. I also upped the cinnamon a bit and I wish I had added even more. Cinnamon ages fairly quickly in your pantry, so if yours is getting up there in age, you will want to up the cinnamon measurements in almost anything you make.

muffins

The batter came together easily and, amazingly, I actually got the exact number of muffins the recipe called for. This NEVER happens to me with muffins or cookies, so I took it as a good sign.

I baked for 20 minutes, turning my pan (which holds 24 muffins and I had doubled the recipe) once at 10 minutes. These probably could have gone just another minute or two to get all of the edges perfectly golden. I have several more cups of applesauce to use, so I may make another batch of these soon and see how they freeze.

These were moist and had a fantastic apple flavor. My applesauce was chunky, so there were still a few distinct chunks in the middle of the muffins which was a nice touch. Next time, I may also try adding some sanding sugar on top of the muffins for a little crunch. These aren’t overly sweet muffins, so the additional sugar wouldn’t be overkill.

muffins

Applesauce Oat Muffins

1 cup rolled/old­fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prep a muffin tin with liners or, like I did, spray the muffin cups with cooking spray.

Combine oatmeal, applesauce, milk, egg, vanilla, butter and sugar.

In another, larger bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix ONLY until combined. You don’t want to develop any gluten here by overworking the flour or your muffins will be dense, sad muffins. And no one wants dense, sad muffins, mkay?

Distribute the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. As always, I use an ice cream disher. Bake for 18-20 minutes, turning once during cooking.

Remove the muffins to a rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Check her out–shes got some amazing stuff over there!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins–Part 1

muffins

Not every new recipe is a winner right off the bat. Some muffins are dry, some cookies are too crisp, and some main dishes just aren’t amazing.

I saw this recipe from Mom on Timeout the other day while googling around for muffin recipes (as you do, right?). We are a peanut butter loving family and jelly seemed like a great thing to add to muffins in lieu of chocolate chips. I had all the stuff on hand, so I whipped up a batch with the help of my son.

jelly

They sure did look delicious and they smelled even better once they came out of the oven. Jelly is delicous–but warm jelly? yes, please. We each grabbed one as soon as they were cool enough to eat.

cutmuffin

In the end, they were just ok. The jelly ends up centralized in a single bite or two on the top of the muffin. This left the peanut butter only section a little dry and sad compared to the amazingness of the jelly-soaked top. I have some ideas to improve these muffins–swirling the jelly throughout the entire muffin batter, subbing brown sugar for white to add some more moisture…. The upside of a peanut butter and jelly muffin is so promising that its worth it to work on.

I’ll be making another batch of these soon and post an updated recipe!

Do you usually work with a recipe that doesn’t turn out as tasty as you had hoped? Or do you abandon it and find a new one? I love seeing the process of adjustment so if you have gone through this, share your secrets with me!

Double Chocolate Cherry Muffins

Double Chocolate Cherry Muffins

I don’t always take my son grocery shopping with me even though he LOVES to go. He pushes the cart and is generally excellent in the store considering he is a 6 year old kid; the only downside is that my cart mysteriously fills up with lots of “extras.” It is really hard to say no to a kid who is asking for a pineapple even if it is the 12th fruit he has asked for in the last 8 minutes of walking the produce department. I end up basically buying half of the produce section and am left with a Chopped-like basket of ingredients to deal with that week.

This week, among many, many other things, a bag of cherries ended up coming home with us (look! Mom! FIRST OF THE SEASON! CHERRIES!).

choppingcherries

Don’t get me wrong–I like to eat cherries right out of the bag but considering we have a lot of other fruit to get through this week, I knew these were destined for muffins. Chocolate cherry muffins. DOUBLE chocolate cherry muffins.

These muffins really blur the line between muffin and cupcake. They are very chocolatey so if you aren’t looking for something indulgent for breakfast, you should look for another cherry muffin recipe. If you are like me and could easily eat cake for breakfast, this is right up your alley.

Batter

These turned out really well and my kids have already asked for seconds. I think I would actually like them to be even more cherry filled since the chocolate is pretty overwhelming. I upped the cherries from the original recipe but I still don’t think its enough. Next time, at least another half cup of chopped cherries and maybe some cherry extract instead of the vanilla.

Double Chocolate Cherry Muffins

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped fresh dark sweet cherries
1 heaping cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with foil muffin liners (I got about 18 muffins from this recipe).

Stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate large bowl. In your mixer, combine sour cream, milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until well mixed. Add the flour mix all at once and mix on the lowest speed until just combined (some streaks are ok). Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full

Bake until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

muffin half

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

My kids are muffin fanatics. We often eat breakfast in the car on the way to school and most other breakfast foods simply fail to deliver here. Syrup for pancakes is too messy, the girl child doesn’t like granola bars, and the boy doesn’t love cereal the way the girl does.

bamuffpan

Muffins solve all of my problems, folks. I can even sometimes convince the kids they are getting cupcakes for breakfast when I try a new recipe. If that isn’t winning, then I don’t know what is. It also gets my kids in the kitchen to provide child labor help Mom.

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My husband has a deep-seated love of breakfast smoothies, so we always have excess bananas around the house. As soon as they start to look a little mushy, I start making plans for them. I have a few recipes for banana muffins that incorporate various levels of banana-iness. This one is a fairly minimal–requiring just 4 bananas for a big batch of 33. These freeze extremely well but it could easily be halved if you aren’t as muffin crazy as we are.

This recipe uses the creaming method that is similar to a basic cookie: Beat together butter and sugars, add eggs, then alternate wet and dry ingredients. Add mixins at the end. I love this method for muffins because it makes multiple batches in the stand mixer easy as pie. You also end up with a nice light fluffy muffin so you don’t even have to feel guilty about having two.

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Banana Muffins
makes 33 muffins

5 cups of all purpose flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
4 Large mashed ripe bananas
½ cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup softened butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1.5 bags chocolate chips

Bowl 1: flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg

Bowl 2: bananas, milk, vanilla

Mixer: sugars and butter. Beat for 5 minutes, add eggs. Alternate ½ dry and half wet.

Add chocolate chips by hand.

Scoop with a large ice cream scoop into liners.

Bake at 350 for 23 minutes

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