RECIPE #33, DAY #31
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Cheese Muffins,” from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.*
TIMING: 45 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Nice and straight-forward
TOOLS: A cupcake pan and cupcake papers. A stand mixer would also be nice.
COOK TYPE: Oven. Baking.
HEALTH: We’re not talking sweet muffins here, so you don’t have to worry about sugar. On the other hand, these work best with a less obtrusive flour, like all purpose or even pastry flour. So as far as health is concerned, we are talking middling. They are certainly better eats than buying your bread (at a grocery store, at least). They are not bran muffins.
EXPERIENCE: I am going to repeat myself for the second of five times:
We were getting ready for a trip up the east coast, and I had an afternoon of avoiding packing in front of me in which to make the edibles for the long journey northward. Usually, I would have planned out the food and built the ingredients into our regular grocery run. This time, however, it hadn’t worked out that way, and I just had to use whatever was already in the pantry. So what did I think of? Baked goods.
I scoured my cookbooks for recipes which could use up the exact ingredients I had (including milk, eggs, buttermilk, etc.), with nothing too out of the ordinary. And I also wanted simple recipes–like bars instead of cookies or cakes–so that I could whip up any number of them in one afternoon. Thus, I was up to my elbows in two kinds of muffins and three bars, rotating things in and out of the oven, into the evening (and my poor husband had to pick up late carry-out for dinner which, yes, sort of defeated the purpose, but sometimes oneself just can’t be reasoned with).
I would make these muffins again, but not in a hurry. They are acceptable.
NOTES: For one variation, replace 1/2 cup all purpose flour with 1/2 cup cornmeal and add 1 cup uncooked corn kernels and 1/2 cup chopped, roasted green chilies.
For a second (Red Lobster-esque) variation, omit the honey and add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder.
- Preheat your oven to 400F and line a 12-cupcake tin with cupcake papers.
- In a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), crack 2 eggs and beat lightly. Add 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons safflower oil, and 1 1/2 tablespoons honey. Mix until combined.
- Over top of the liquid ingredients, sprinkle 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix quickly, scraping the bottom of the bowl, just until everything is incorporated. Quickly stir in 2 cups grated sharp cheddar.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake tins, distributing evenly among the 12 papers. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick. (A clean toothpick means they are baked through.) Set muffins out to cook for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and allow to cool on a rack.
Serve with some sort of dinner that feels like it needs a cheese bread. Like a steakhouse style dinner?
*Recipe changed from the original.