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~ A Plain, All-Purpose, No-Nonsense Muffin Recipe ~

IMG_5338Who bakes plain muffins and why?  I do and here's why.  I enjoy a lot of treats unembellished  -- doughnuts, cake doughnuts, cream cakes,  crumb cakes and coffeecakes to name a few.  Heck, I even like plain cheesecake.   That said, for those who prefer their muffins chocked-full of goodies (fresh or dried fruits, berries, nuts, chocolate- peanut butter- or cinnamon-chips and/or toffee bits), having a basic muffin batter recipe in your back pocket takes the guess and stress out of making all sorts of muffins exactly the way your family, friends and you like them -- simply by adding a cup or two of this or that and a pinch of spice and other things nice.

Similar to the low-key and friendly "welcome to my kitchen" ambiance of any of the aforementioned unembellished treats, a plain muffin is my own, personal, morning-comfort-food. I can't wait to open one up, use my fingers to pull it apart, eat it slowly, one lip-licking nibble at a time.  Afterward, I can feel good about having eaten this small, sweet indulgence for the entire day.  From start to finish, I can make ten simply-delicious, nothin'-muffins in 30 minutes or less.

From start-to-finish, 30-minutes or less, I promise:

IMG_5299For the wet ingredients:

4  tablespoons salted butter, melted

1/2  cup sugar

1  large egg

1  cup whole milk

1  tablespoon vanilla extract

For the dry ingredients:

2  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1  tablespoon baking powder

1/2  teaspoon baking soda

1/4  teaspoon salt

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing muffin cups

IMG_5301~ Step 1.  Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly-spray the cups in standard-sized muffin tins (enough for 12 muffins) with no-stick spray and set aside.  In a small bowl stir together the dry ingredients:  flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  Note:  If you are using unsalted butter, increase the amount of salt to 1/2 teaspoon.  

In a 1-cup measuring container, stir the milk and vanilla together.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool a bit, 1-5 minutes.  Ready, set, go:

IMG_5305 IMG_5307 IMG_5309 IMG_5312 IMG_5314 IMG_5319~Step 2.  Add the sugar and the egg to the bowl of melted butter.  Using an old-fashioned hand-crank mixer, combine until thick and smooth, about 30-45 seconds.  Add the milk and blend again, until milk is thoroughly incorporated. Remove the mixer and add all of the dry ingredients.  Using a large rubber spatula, incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  Don't over mix.  Batter will be slightly-lumping looking.

IMG_5320 IMG_5326~ Step 3. Using a 2 1/2" ice-cream scoop as a measure, distribute the batter amongst each of ten of the prepared muffin cups.

~ Step 4.  Bake muffins, all at once, on center rack of preheated 350° oven, until puffed up, golden, and, a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 14-16 minutes.

IMG_5335 IMG_5346~ Step 5. Remove from oven to cool, in pans, on a wire rack for 2-3 minutes, just long enough for them to shrink from sides of cups.  Use a sharp paring knife to carefully and gently remove muffins from tins to cool on rack completely about 1 hour.

I just adore a simply-splendid nothin'-muffin in the mornin':

IMG_5352A Plain, All-Purpose, No-Nonsense Muffin Recipe:  Recipe yields 10 muffins.

Special Equipment List:  1-cup measuring container; old-fashioned hand-crank mixer; large rubber spatula; 2 1/2" ice-cream scoop; standard-size muffin tins, enough for 10 muffins; 2 1/2" ice-cream scoop; cake tester or toothpick; wire cooling rack; sharp paring knife

IMG_5228Cook's Note:  Feel free to add any combination of "your favorite things" to this muffin mixture -- chocolate chips and chopped, lightly-toasted walnuts are pictured here.  That said, limit the grand total of all add-ins together to 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups. The new yield will be 12 muffins.  

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2017)


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