Posted by Megan | Breakfast, Dessert, Guest, Misc
Hi Cookers with Willis! I’m Amanda – most recently you may have heard of me from bridal events, or if you’re a fan of the campfire bake. I have been overwhelmed with wedding planning, so I have been looking for ways to buy myself extra time each day. Jesse (my wonderful fiancé) requested I bake muffins since they’re his favorite, so I thought I would share my recipe with you all as well!

These muffins are NOT going to taste like the muffins you get at Starbucks or Panera or really any other chain coffeehouse/breakfast place. Those are more like cupcakes without frosting. These are not very sweet and they’re more crumbly. So basically, everything I’ve come to love out of a good “pair with coffee” breakfast baked good.

I can’t take full credit for this recipe – the great Alton Brown was the one who taught me to make muffins – and I just go from there. These muffins are great for people trying to watch what they eat for sports training – there is no butter and no milk, and extra protein thanks to the Greek yogurt!

So – tools:
Multiple mixing bowls – 2 for dry ingredients (if you’re using a sifter) OR 1 for dry if you’re going to whisk (it must be big enough to hold everything); 1 mixing bowl for wet ingredients
Sifter or sturdy whisk
Measuring cups (for dry and wet)
Measuring spoons
Cooling racks
Muffin tin
Muffin paper cups
Pam or other non-stick spray (trust me)
Ice cream scoop (seriously a life saver)

Baking Notes: I used cherries for this muffin recipe, but it can be adapted for other “bits and pieces.” If you add chocolate chips, my only advice is to NOT do more than one cup – trust me!

Cherry Muffins (recipe from Alton Brown)

Dry Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar (it’s considered wet because it dissolves so quickly)
1/2 cup veggie oil
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1-2 cups cherries (after cutting and pitting)

Preparing your cherries: Cut your cherries in half – and pull out the pits. This is messy and will leave your cutting board and hands looking like a crime scene, but it’s important to get decent sized bits and pieces. Otherwise your muffins will have huge bits which throws them off. Ideally you want to then cut those halves into quarters, so the cherries look like this:

Now – the fun part: making the actual muffins! Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray the muffin tin (especially the top part where the paper cups won’t go) and put the cups into the muffin cups – then set it somewhere out of the way.
Mix the dry goods and run them through the sifter twice. If you aren’t using a sifter, whisk it through to get some air into it evenly. This is huge – it breaks up the dry goods, which is how you get a true muffin consistency instead of a cupcake. Next, mix all the wet goods (remember – this includes the sugar!) until they’re combined. Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry, but be careful not to overmix. I know it’s hard to tell, but it should *almost* make a dough. It’s not going to look like your cupcake mixes from a box. Lastly, mix in the cherries!

Grab the prepared muffin tin and start scooping! Use the ice cream scoop to drop a full scoop into the paper in the tin. You want to actually fill these cups – unlike cake these muffins don’t rise that much. Once they’re all full, bake them for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick can be pushed all the way through the center and come out clean.

When you pull the muffins out of the oven, tip the pan to release steam – otherwise you get soggy bottomed muffins which is why no one likes muffin bottoms. As soon as the steam has escaped, transfer your muffins to a cooling rack. Repeat with any additional batter you may have left. These muffins are best fresh, but if you seal them in a container they are good for a couple of days. Just throw them in a toaster oven to heat them up – it’s almost the same as being fresh from the oven! Also – fun fact – with fruit as your “extra bits and pieces” each muffin is under 200 calories! Enjoy!

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