Cinnamon Muffins

Muffins make me happy. I have been known to bake muffins three to four times in one week because we just can’t get enough of them. They are my go-to in the kitchen when I’ve had a hard day because I can always do muffins well. Let’s bake some.

I’ve been modifying a basic muffin recipe to get this moist and flavorful concoction.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  •  3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup plain soy yogurt

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375°. You’re going to need two separate bowls. One is for your dry ingredients and one is for your liquids. Let’s start with the liquids. Combine the olive oil and the sugar and use a hand mixer or a whisk to blend them together. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat that together and set aside your liquids bowl.

Sift together your five dry ingredients: flour, powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. (If you don’t have a sifter or a sieve just use a whisk or a fork to integrate all of your dry ingredient particles.) Dump the entire bowl of dry ingredients PLUS the yogurt into the bowl of liquids. Blend or whisk all of it together. Your batter will be smooth and creamy and plentiful.

I’ve really been enjoying my silicone baking cups because I don’t have to grease the muffin tin OR the baking cups. If you don’t have the baking cups, be sure and grease your muffin tin or spray your muffin papers. Just scoop your batter into the cups and slide the whole thing into your pre-heated oven. I’m going to tell you to bake them for 18-20 minutes, but you MUST pay close attention when baking muffins. Have your toothpick ready to test and slide them back in if they need another minute. But remove them as soon as your tester comes out clean.

Enjoy these muffins warm with a bowl of soup.

 

Communication Barrier

We like to bake and that afternoon we made oversized chocolate pumpkin muffins together. But since they were exceptionally large and very rich, owing to all those milk chocolate chunks, I cut the muffins in half for consumption. When only one half of one muffin remained, my six year old daughter indicated she would like to be the one to eat that remaining half, and I told her to talk to me about it after supper. Promptly at bedtime, she declared her need of a snack and I gave permission for her to eat something. Since I was already upstairs, her request for “that bread” didn’t seem strange to me. Almost surprised, she asked if she could “eat the whole thing,” and I still gave her the green light. When she questioned again if I was “sure” she could have it, I just wanted her to hurry and come upstairs, but I did remind her to eat it at the table.

20 minutes later my daughter joined me and I asked if she had finished her muffin. Rather incredulously, she said, “Muffin? What muffin?”  “The pumpkin muffin you wanted for your snack,” I said. “I didn’t eat a muffin” she told me. My own curiosity now piqued, I wondered out loud, “What did you eat then?” She announced: “Zucchini bread!”

This was my moment. You know – that moment – when you realize you have failed as a parent to be completely and totally on top of the situation, and you find that no matter how you dissect your actions and words – you’ve brought it on yourself and your child is the reigning victor.

It all came back to me in a flash: the loaf of zucchini bread my mother shared with us – sitting on the kitchen counter, the recollection of me giving permission for my child to eat the “whole thing,” and now wondering if she really did. Laughing out loud I asked. I had to know. As it turned out, she couldn’t finish the entire loaf – although she tried – she only made it through about 1/3 of it, so she confessed she just licked what she didn’t finish eating.

The conversation deteriorated rapidly from there, as I was laughing so much. What do you do? I suggested that my daughter’s decision maker wasn’t functioning properly and she probably made a bad choice in licking the entire loaf of bread, preventing anyone else from having some. But, hey – who can blame her? Given the option to eat an entire loaf of my mom’s zucchini bread or lick what I couldn’t finish to secure it for myself later? I’d stick out my tongue.

Cranberry Pineapple Muffins

Glenda, this post is for you.

I’m not sure I’m ready to share this recipe yet, because I’m still playing with it, but go ahead and try it – it’s good!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole fresh cranberries
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted (this is a butter substitute, so you can use real butter)
  • 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Process

Mix the cranberries, egg, milk, Earth Balance, and pineapple together in a large bowl. In another bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture – just to get it all moistened. Spoon the batter into greased muffin tins. You can sprinkle the tops with brown sugar if you choose.

Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes – until they’re done. You know the drill: toothpick it.

Tips

  1. Buy lots of cranberries while they’re in-season during November, and freeze them so you can enjoy them year-round.
  2. A whisk is a great tool to use for sifting dry ingredients together.

How did my tasters enjoy these muffins? Interested in becoming one of my tasters? Let me know, and I’ll let you know what’s on the menu!