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Basic Muffin

Yield 12 muffins (serving size: 1 muffin)
Enjoy as is or customize with add-ins; fold in extras right after you add melted butter (except as noted).

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk, plain yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar, brown sugar, or honey*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 375º. Spray 12 muffin cups, or use liners, and set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.

  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer or a whisk to beat the eggs, milk, sugar, and melted butter. Add your choice of ingredient mix-ins (if desired) and vanilla extract (if you're making sweet muffins). Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt over the mixture and blend until smooth. (If you overmix the batter, the muffins won't be fluffy.)

  3. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, or until muffins are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean.

  4. Mix It Up

  5. Tasty ways to dress up the basic muffin recipe:

  6. 1/2 cup blueberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries; or 1/2 cup total of a combination of these berries

  7. 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or raisins, or a combination of both totaling 1/2 cup

  8. 1 cup grated apple mixed with muffin

  9. 1 cup grated apple mixed with 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  10. 1/2 cup chopped cranberries mixed with 3 tablespoons sugar

  11. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  12. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger; or 1/4 teaspoon of a combination of these spices

  13. 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried cranberries with 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger; or 1/4 teaspoon of a combination of these spices

  14. 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried cranberries or cherries

  15. 1/2 cup oat bran, bran, or wheat germ in place of 1/2 cup of the flour (for extra texture)

  16. When making savory muffins, add only 2 tablespoons sugar, along with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs or spices (or 1 teaspoon dried herbs or spices), then add salt and freshly ground pepper

  17. Another savory addition: 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon or cooked, chopped ham in place of herbs or spices

  18. *Note: Honey should be off-limits for children under 1 year old.

  19. How kids can help: Let your child help you measure ingredients, mix the batter, and fill the muffin tins.