Sunday, February 13, 2011


There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pancake Muffins

2 cups Original Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 stick butter

12 tbsp filling: try Nutella, fruit jam, or cream cheese

confectioners sugar for sprinkling
maple syrup for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Generously coat the bottom & sides of a 12-muffin tin with butter.
  3. Make Bisquick pancakes per instructions on the box.
  4. Fill each cup in the muffin tin half-way.
  5. Add 1 tbsp of filling to the middle of each muffin, then cover with the remaining pancake mix.
  6. Bake 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and place on a serving dish.
  8. Use a flour sifter to sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Serve with warm syrup.

recipe found at

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cooking and Love......

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon 
or not at all.
Harriet Van Horne

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Useful Muffin Knowledge

These bits of muffin wisdom were found at

Muffin Batters

The bread-like muffin batter is made using the "muffin method".  This batter can be assembled and baked 'quickly', usually in 20-25 minutes.  Only two bowls are needed to make the batter.  One bowl is used to mix all the dry ingredients together.  The second bowl contains all the wet ingredients.  The fat used with the bread-like muffins is usually in liquid form, either an oil or melted butter.  When the wet and dry ingredients have been mixed together separately, then they are combined.  The important step here is not to overmix the batter.  However, there is a tendency to over mix because the ratio of liquid to flour is quite high.  But mixing too much overdevelops the gluten in the flour which will cause a tough muffin with tunnels and a compact texture.  Only 10 to 15 strokes are needed to moisten the  ingredients and the batter should be still lumpy and you may still see a few traces of flour.  Don't worry about these lumps as the batter continues to blend as it bakes and any lumps will disappear.  Note:  Over mixing the muffin batter causes it to become very stringy.  This is the gluten developing in the flour.  Over mixing causes long strands of gluten to form making it hard for the leavener to work and causes long tunnels in the baked good.  

The cake-like muffin batter is prepared using the same method as making a cake batter.  The butter (room-temperature) and sugar are creamed together.  The eggs are mixed in and then the wet and dry ingredients are added alternately.  The higher sugar and fat content in this type of muffin act as tenderizers thereby producing a richer cake-like muffin with a softer crumb.  The increased fat content also minimizes the development of gluten which again helps to produce a muffin with a softer crumb.

Muffins and cupcakes are baked in a muffin pan or tin made of steel, aluminum or cast iron.  Make sure the pan you buy has rounded corners and seamless cups.  Non-stick surfaces are available which enables easy removal of the muffins from the pan.  Each pan can have 6-, 12- or 24- cup-shaped depressions and range from mini- to jumbo in size.  Mini muffin pans usually have 12 or 24 cup-shaped depressions.  Each little cup is about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) deep and holds about 2 tablespoons of batter.  The regular size muffin pans have 6- or 12- cup-shaped depressions with each cup about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter and holds about 1/2 cup or 4 ounces of batter.  Jumbo muffin pans have 6 cup-shaped depressions with each cup being 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and 2 inches (5 cm) deep holding about 1 cup of batter each. 
There are also fluted muffin pans (also called bundt-lette pans) that come in 6- and 12- cup sizes made from heavy cast aluminum.  Each of the 6 fluted muffin cups measures 4 inches (10 cm) wide and 2 inches (5 cm) deep and holds 8 ounces (240 ml) of batter.   Each of the 12 fluted muffin cups measures 2 1/2 inches wide (6.25 cm) and 1 inch (2.54 cm) deep.  They can be used to bake both muffins and cakes when decorative individual cakes are desired. 
Note:  If using a dark colored pan, reduce the oven temperature, stated in the recipe, by 25 degrees F.  (This is because dark colored pans absorb more of the energy coming from the oven walls so they become hotter and transmit heat faster than light colored pans.)
Paper or foil muffin cup liners are sometimes used to line the muffin pans.  The advantage of paper liners is not only does it make clean-up easier but they also help to keep the muffins moist and help prevent them from drying out.  However, if you like your muffins to have a crust, do not use paper liners.  Instead, spray the muffin pan with a non stick vegetable spray.

Muffins should be baked in the center of a preheated oven and are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges start to come away from the sides of the pan, usually 20-25 minutes at a 350 - 400 degree F (175 - 205 degrees C) oven. 
Spoon the muffin batter into the muffin tin using two spoons or an ice cream scoop.  Only fill each cup 1/2 to 2/3 full.   Even during this step, handle the batter as little as possible as too much handling will cause a tough muffin.  Fill any unused cups halfway with water to prevent over browning of the muffins or warping of the pan.  Turn the pan halfway during baking for even browning.  Make sure you do not overbake muffins or they will be dry.  When done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly (5-10 minutes) before removing from pan.  


Muffins have tunnels and are dry:
- batter was over mixed (too much gluten development)
- over baked and/or oven too hot
- too much flour and/or too little liquid

Muffins have an uneven shape
- too much batter in each cup (fill only 1/2 to 2/3 full).   Overfilling will cause muffins to have "flying saucer" like tops.
- oven temperature too high

Tops are brown but muffin is not cooked through
- oven temperature too high
- oven rack not in center of oven 

Muffin does not rise sufficiently
- oven temperature too low
- batter over mixed or incorrect amount of leavener

Muffins Stick to Pan
- pan was not prepared properly. 
- let muffins sit in pan too long after removing from oven.  Try placing the pan on a wet towel for a few minutes to loosen the muffins.  Run a sharp edge around the inside of each muffin. 

Streusel - Comes from the German word 'streuen' which means 'to sprinkle' or 'to scatter'.  Was originally made to be used as a topping for the German made 'Streusel Kuchen'.   Streusels are now used as a topping for cakes, coffee cakes, Danish pastries, muffins, pies, sweet breads, and tarts.
Streusel is a crumbly topping containing a mixture of butter, flour, and sugar.  Spices, chopped nuts, and oats can be added.  This mixture is sprinkled over the top of baked goods before they are placed in the oven.  It provides a crisp crust that adds both taste and texture to baked goods.
Note:  Resist the temptation to add more baking powder to your muffin recipe, thinking it will give you higher muffins.  If you over leaven your batter it will cause the muffins to over inflate when baked, which weakens the structure and will cause the muffin to collapse.  This will result in a heavy, compact textured muffin. 
General rule of thumb is 1 to 2 teaspoons of baking powder or 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda plus 1/2 cup (120 ml) of an acidic ingredient, leavens 1 cup (140 grams) of all purpose flour.  The exact amount will vary according to the ingredients used and how the batter is mixed. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bisquick Sour Cream Muffins

This is not a recipe for muffin "purists".  
I like to bake from "scratch" but sometimes you just want to take a short cut. I keep a box of Bisquick around for just such emergencies.
I love the fact that this recipe only requires ingredients! How simple is that?

Bisquick Sour Cream Muffins

1 Stick butter, melted
1 c Sour cream
2 c Bisquick baking mix

  1. Grease or paper muffin tin.
  2. Mix together butter and sour cream.
  3. Add Bisquick to the butter and sour cream mixture. Stir to combine.
  4. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour into greased or papered muffin cups.
  6. Bake 425 F, 10-15 minutes or until golden.