All about Muffins

A favorite food of breakfast, brunch and dinner

 

Blueberry Coffeecake MuffinsMuffins are one of the most beloved breakfast treats, but why stop there? Moist, flavorful muffins can satisfy your hunger any time of the day. From sweet to savory, you can stock your baking arsenal with a variety of versatile recipes.

Believe it or not, you don’t need a whole afternoon in order to mix, make and bake delicious muffins from scratch. With these simple freezing techniques you can bring muffins to the table for a warm breakfast, a comforting snack or as a savory side at dinner.

Technique One: Bake, Freeze, Heat, Repeat (fastest reheat)
Simply start by baking your muffins as directed by the recipe. Let them cool completely, and then seal them up in an airtight freezer bag. Freezing can extend your muffins’ shelf life up to 3 months. To reheat – just pop them back in the oven at 350 degrees until they awaken with a warm center and crispy top.

Technique Two: Frozen Batter (fastest prep)
Mix your muffin batter and then pour into the tin just like you were going to stick them in the oven. Instead, slide the muffin tin into the freezer and allow the batter to freeze solid. Pop or pry out your frozen batter muffins and put them in a large, airtight freezer bag for up to 4 months. When a muffin craving hits, just place them back in the muffin tin, allow the batter to thaw completely and bake as directed.

Ready to stock pile your favorite muffins? Start out with a few of your family’s most loved recipes, then check out these from the Clabber Girl bakers’ kitchen.

Blueberry Coffeecake Muffins
The perfect Saturday morning treat, the aroma of these sweet streusel-topped muffins will wake up the whole house with a smile.

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
zest of one lemon, about 1 tablespoon
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups blueberries
Streusel Ingredients
Baking Instructions

Banana Bran MuffinsBanana Bran Breakfast Muffins
Need to feed an army? These light and fluffy muffins are great for a breakfast-on-the-go. With 24 muffins per batch, these muffins both sweet and healthy.

Ingredients:
1 c. all-purpose flour (white)

1 c. whole flour (wheat)
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. Rumford Reduced Sodium Baking Powder
1 c. bran flakes cereal
1 1/2 c. mashed over-ripe bananas (2 to 3 large)
1/2 c. plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt
1/3 c. corn oil (canola oil)
2 large eggs (6 1/2 tbsp. liquid egg substitute)
1 1/4 tsp. orange zest (optional)
Instructions

Cheddar Bacon Muffins
Bring the joy and delight of muffins to the dinner table with these crowd-pleasing Cheddar Bacon Muffins. They make a savory sidekick to a steamy stew or a tasty culinary companion for a salad or pasta dish.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (2 oz.)
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 egg (beaten)
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. cooking oil
6 slices crisp-cooked bacon (crumbled)
Instructions

Whether you choose to mix and bake immediately or freeze them for breakfast next week, one thing is for sure—muffins are one of the most versatile treats to have on hand. For even more muffin mania, head over to our Pinterest page.

Spring Break Snacks: On-the-Go or In-the-Home

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Perfect for the beach, the car or the couch

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When Spring Break is in full swing you might find yourself with the daunting task of entertaining children of various ages for an entire week. This might mean that your family is enjoying a few uninterrupted days of relaxation during a “stay-cation,” or maybe you’re hitting the road for the beach or the mountains. Either way, you’ll need to find ways to keep your kids happy and fed, so why not find a way to do both?

Creative Spring Break snacks are the perfect way to occupy idle hands in the kitchen, or satisfy cravings on long road trips. From simple to savory, these snacks will feed the troops and fuel the fun.

On The Road: The days of fast food stops are long behind us. We have more opportunities to create our own road trip recipes, especially with kid-friendly dishes the whole family can create. After you pile your family into the car for your annual Florida trip, drive right past the gas station snacks and try out some of these homemade treats instead.

Sweet Popcorn Snax
Sweet Popcorn SnaxOn a long car ride, food is one of the best ways to keep minds distracted, hands busy and mouths occupied. This Sweet Popcorn Snax recipe from Clabber Girl’s kitchen is a lip-smacking, savory combination of sweet and salty.

Ingredients:
10 cups popped corn (not microwaved)
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

Gluten-Free-Whoopie-Pies-Cakes-FullWhoopie Pies (Gluten Free!)
These soft mini cakes with creamy vanilla buttermilk filling can halt any backseat argument. Quell repetitive chants of “Are we there yet?” with a delicious car ride cake that is sure to please palates of all ages.

Ingredients:
For the whoopie cakes:
1 1/4 cup rice flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder, dutched
2/3 cup tapioca starch
1 tablespoon xanthan gum-optional*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

For the filling:
8 tablespoons butter
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 teaspoons vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk
Instructions

In the Kitchen: If your family is staying put this Spring Break, kitchen activities are a great way to occupy kids of all ages. Cooking brings your family together, laughing over culinary concoctions that teach teamwork and creativity, along with reading and math skills.

PB+J Cookies
You pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the kids’ lunches on a regular basis. Go a little crazy over Spring Break and turn the staple item into a cookie! Not only will you be serving them a protein-filled cookie, but it’s also gluten-free.

Chewy High Protein Carb-Busters Candy
Got a house full of high-energy teenage boys that need some wrangling this Spring Break? Put them to work in the kitchen making these healthy, yet tasty, high protein candy treats. An ideal snack for growing boys, these nuggets are chocked full of honey, nuts, cumin, chili powder and other delicious raw ingredients that wow the taste buds and boost the immune system.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup honey
2 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal, plain and unsweetened- any puffed grain cereal may be substituted*
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup roasted nuts-almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews or a combination
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
pinch of salt

Instructions:

To prepare, brush both the bowl and beaters of a stand mixer very lightly yet thoroughly with vegetable oil, and brush a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Mix the puffed rice, roasted nuts and spices together in the workbowl of the stand mixer. Add the peanut butter in chunks and mix on low to distribute. Do not worry about mixing thoroughly, that will happen when you add the honey.

Bring the honey to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Boil to the hard ball stage, 260 degrees on a candy thermometer. If you do not have a candy thermometer, once the honey has reached a full boil, continue cooking for a full four minutes. Immediately pour over the nut mixture in the workbowl. Pour slowly with the motor on low and be careful, this is very hot and will burn easily. When all the honey is added, turn the speed up slowly to mix evenly. Stop and scrape the bowl a few times to ensure even mixing.

Turn the mixture out into the prepared baking sheet and pack it in firmly with a spatula or your fingers. Let cool for a few hours and cut into bite size pieces.

Makes about 2 lbs of candy. Store airtight.

* Any puffed grain cereal may be substituted

Recipe by Mani Niall – Mix it up with Mani

Whether you’re home or away this Spring Break, we know one thing… it’s bound to be sweet!

Spring: Invite the Unexpected

Open your door: Spring is knocking

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Well, don’t literally open your door, because winter is still throwing its tantrums outside. Winter will not get its way, however, and spring—sweet, green spring—is a matter of weeks away. What you may want to open up is your pantry door. With spring comes a host of new flavors, from first crops to international novelties, and possibilities for fresh beginnings are blossoming. Comfort food will always have its place, but it’s time to sweep clean the hearth and take a few steps out of the comfort zone.

Enter into a world of flavor fusion. With our markets globalizing and local crops beginning to make their first appearances, spring is the perfect time to blend home-cooked with far-from-home flavors. We’re not in Kansas, anymore. Sunshine inspires homemade cold treats, like lemon-thyme sorbet, mango ice-cream with hot chilies or strawberry gelato with balsamic vinegar and basil. Matcha green tea will go nicely in frozen yogurt with orange, walnuts, and ginseng.

It’s true that our taste buds are changing. We’re more aware of other flavors, and it’s time to take them on a few adventures. Brussels sprouts used to be something our grandparents force-fed us, but no longer. Now, we roast them over fire with curry and cashews. Let’s season our almonds with North African za-atar, or pickle watermelon rinds with citrus and ginger. Modify our pineapple upside down cake to make it far more interesting with jack fruit and local buckwheat honey.

Our options have multiplied, and with them the many culinary roads we may take. Spring is a time for blazing trails. Chocolate and hazelnuts now host garden parties with cinnamon and chili. All the things we adore about raw honey, the way it tastes swirled with almond butter, why don’t we see how those things go with protein-dense Greek yogurt? Or how about we try making homemade palm-sugar syrup to drizzle over avocado mousse? This blueberry-lavender cupcake would be lovely garnished with toasted aniseed and sugared pansies. Perhaps we’ll add a little soy sauce to our chocolate soufflé.

Chili and Chocolate
Chili and Chocolate

It’s time to open our eyes to the potential of spring. Crocuses are sending up their shoots, and it’s our turn to stretch out our feelers for a little sunshine. Try growing your own bean sprouts, perhaps—they’ll be great in a salad of arugula, cilantro, and pequin peppers. Toss together figs, goat cheese, and fenugreek for your flatbread. Combine curly parsley, red beets, carrot juice, sweet peas…why yes, we’re making a chocolate cake. If it is fresh, if it is bold, if it is tasty, then why not?

So go ahead: open your door. See what your local farmers are producing, meet the apiary owner down the street, and till up a little soil of your own. Then, go find what you haven’t tried before, and try it. Local and global both have a place in our kitchens, just as clean, healthy food can make our taste buds sing. Our minds are opening as consumers, and our hearts are opening as creators, friends, and tasters. It’s time to shake the dust out of our curtains and let some air in—spring is here. Let’s eat.