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Anne's Kitchen: In the mood for muffins?

 

Anne Freeze

 

 

I have never been a muffin fan. I didn't grow up eating sweet things for breakfast and just never hankered to the idea of coffee cake and muffins. (I can scarf down a bagel and cream cheese in nothing flat.) I especially dislike those big 3,000-calorie muffins that became popular years ago. It would take a stick of butter for me to eat that, and then I'd have to take a nap. However, I had a bran muffin one morning at a friend's home in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Maybe it was the company or the view, but it was the best muffin I had ever eaten. The recipe was from "Dinner on the Diner" by the Chattanooga Junior League. They were light and moist and my friend, Donna, said that she makes a batch of batter and then cooks muffins fresh every few days. The batter will keep for two weeks. She doesn't add any fruit or nuts and neither do I, but I'll bet some candied ginger, raisins or walnuts would be good in them. I adapted the recipe by cutting back (way back) on the sugar and using half wheat and half white flour. Neither Terry or I think it altered the taste or moistness.  

 

The only other muffin I have swooned over was made by Rosemary Hayes recently for a meeting. The minute I walked in several ladies came up to tell me to taste these muffins. And it was worth every carb they contained! Sweet and loaded with pecans, they weren't cloying. They were moist, and she made them mini-muffin size which was perfect. These were a treat, and I recommend them for any gathering.  

 

I am also including today another muffin recipe. I found it in my recipe notebook while looking for the bran muffin recipe. In my mother's handwriting was a recipe for "Aunt Mary's Muffins." I had two copies of it, both in Mama's handwriting but on different paper. I don't know who Aunt Mary was for sure; I think she was our friend Lili's aunt. I am quite sure that this is a recipe many people have in some form or another. I'd guess this copy is 30 years old. 

 

One last thing I wanted to share, on cooking with creativity: A friend brought a batch of brownies to a supper recently. I went in to cut one out of the pan and, along with the brownie, came a strip of bacon. Yep, bacon. Hmm. I went on the search, asking who had made the brownies; I was directed to Bob. He first asked if I had liked them, and I did, although they had a slight smoky aroma. He had prepared his batter and went to grease the pan but didn't have any butter, so he grabbed the bacon and lay it on the bottom. Brownie batter went on top and they baked together. It was good and very interesting.  

 

I hope you enjoy these muffins with morning coffee. 

 

 

 

PECAN MUFFINS 

 

 

 

1/3 cup melted butter 

 

1/2 cup plain flour 

 

1/2 cup sugar 

 

1/2 cup brown sugar 

 

2 beaten eggs 

 

1 cup (or more) chopped pecans 

 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

 

 

 

  • Mix ingredients and bake at 350 F. for about 10-12 minutes. (Generously spray Bakers Joy in 24 small muffin tins or use paper baking cups.) 

     

  • Carefully remove from pan while still hot by running a knife around sides of tin. Cool completely before storing. 

     

     

     

    AUNT MARY'S MUFFINS 

     

     

     

    1 1/2 stick margarine 

     

    8 ounces sour cream 

     

    2 cups self-rising flour, sifted 

     

    1 tablespoon sugar 

     

     

     

  • Mix ingredients together and pour into greased muffin tins. Bake at 400 F. for 20 minutes. 

     

     

     

    BRAN MUFFIN MIX 

     

    Makes 2 gallons 

     

     

     

    1 16-ounce box All Bran cereal 

     

    2 cups boiling water 

     

    3/4 cup white raising (optional) 

     

    3 cups sugar (or less) 

     

    1 tablespoon salt 

     

    5 teaspoons baking soda 

     

    5 cups all-purpose flour (or 2 1/2 cups all-purpose and 2 1/2 cups whole wheat) 

     

    1 cup vegetable oil 

     

    4 eggs, well beaten 

     

    1 quart buttermilk 

     

    1 tablespoon vanilla (optional) 

     

     

     

  • Soak 2 cups cereal and raisens in boiling water; set aside. In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together and stir in remaining cereal. Add all remaining ingredients, including soaked cereal. Mix thoroughly. Batter may be kept in covered container in refrigerator for up to six weeks. 

     

  • To bake, fill greased muffin tins half full. Place tins in upper half of oven and bake for 20 minutes.

     

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