Saturday, March 20, 2010

Muffins Galore!

So a while ago I bought a cookbook all about muffins called the Ultimate Muffin Book. I am in love with muffins. I don't know what it is about them, but they are truly delicious. I mean, I'm not a fan of the cake-like monster ones that you get at most stores (well, I will admit they are nice to eat every once in a while) but I love the ones that are smaller and are lighter and just plain yummier than the cakey ones. And that's the basis of this muffin book.

I've decided to try every single muffin recipe in this book, starting at the beginning. It's going to take me a really long time to make them all since there are over 600 different types!!!

But I've got the rest of my life to make muffins, right?

Yesterday morning, I made my first batch. They were just plain but delicious almond muffins. I am so used to using the standard recipe from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that this one was a little weird. Well, not that weird. But I was in a hurry and I was caught off guard by the melted butter. Yes, they added melted butter. I've never heard of that in a muffin recipe, but they turned out delicious, so it didn't hurt. I just wonder if leaving out the butter would make any difference. But that's for another experiment.

There are seven variations for an almond muffin: almond apple poppy seed, almond blueberry, almond cranberry, almond date, almond joy (coconut and chocolate chips), almond nut crunch and almond streusel. I am really excited to try the almond joy one :)

Anyways, here's the recipe for you to try. These are pretty basic muffins, so you can add pretty much anything in that you like!

Almond Muffins
3/4 c. sliced almonds
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, at room temp
3/4 c. milk
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 c. almond oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 400F and line muffin tin with paper cups or spray with non-stick spray. If desired, lightly toast almonds in oven for 5 minutes, then cool. Pour 1/2 c. almonds into a mini food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times until finely ground, but not a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in rest of dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk next 5 ingredients together for about 1 minute, then whisk in the oil and butter. Stir together dry and wet ingredients until just moistened, not worrying about the lumps. Fill the tin 3/4 full and top with remaining almonds. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Set pan to cool for 10 minutes, then cool muffins individually on a cooling rack for 5 min. Enjoy!


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