Baking doesn't get much easier than muffins. Learn how to turn out these people-pleasing treats for quick breakfasts and on-the-go snacks.
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The Real Muffin Man
During the 19th century, purveyors of muffins, or "muffin men," roamed through London at teatime, ringing hand bells and selling their wares.
These were English muffins--short, flat, and spongy--not American-style muffins, which resemble sweet bread or cake.
Wake Up to Muffins
Many muffin batters can be made ahead of time. If you have room in the fridge, you can even scoop the batter into muffin tins so the muffins are ready to go in the oven first thing in the morning.
Tips for Marvelous Muffins
- The number one rule of muffin-making is don't over mix the batter unless you want hockey pucks instead of muffins
- If you're wondering which recipe to choose, here's a tip. Less butter and sugar in a recipe makes a bread-like muffin, while more butter and sugar produces something closer to cake
- Have all ingredients at room temperature. Mix the dry ingredients, whisk the wet ingredients, then use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently stir the two together until everything is slightly moistened. Yes, there might be lumps. Small lumps are fine
- Add fruit, nuts, etc. after lightly combining the wet and dry ingredients. Then give the batter one more light-handed stir and you're done. Is the batter still thick and lumpy? That's exactly what you want
- That thick, lumpy batter is best portioned out with a spoon or a small ice cream scoop
- Some say muffin tops are the best part. To get yours, bake the batter in shallow muffin tins or overfill regular muffin tins. Even if you use paper liners, a quick spritz of vegetable cooking spray on the top of the muffin tin will make muffin removal much easier
- Position your oven rack in the middle of the oven for even heat distribution
- Let muffins cool for a few minutes before turning them out of the pan
- Muffins are best when freshly made, but for muffins anytime you want them, wrap cooled muffins in plastic and freeze for up to two months. Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature