Thursday, February 12, 2009

Snack Time

One of the main ways I'm saving money is by slashing our food budget. I buy hardly any pre-made packaged foods (in fact I don't buy any). But my kids are just as hungry as they used to be. So once or twice a week I make muffins. They are tasty, cheap, and quick. They are also a really good way to use up fruits and vegetables that are starting to fade. These come together so fast that I can throw them together when we walk in the door after school and they are out of the oven about half an hour later... which is just how long it takes Kid to actually put away her coat and backpack so it works out just fine.

Basic Muffin Recipe
taken from How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

2 c all purpose flour
6 T sugar (1/2 c if you like them pretty sweet)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c milk
3 T melted butter (or veg oil)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt

Heat oven to 400.
Whisk dry ingredients together.
Stir in wet ingredients just until incorporated. Do Not Over Mix... lumps are fine!
Bake in muffin tins until toothpick comes out clean, about 16 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

You can take this recipe and change it up any which way. I add shredded apple and carrot and cinnamon. Or I throw in frozen blueberries and cranberries, orange zest, and vanilla. You could put in mashed banana. They are infinitely flexible.

I always use half all purpose and half whole wheat flour. I also always dust the tops with raw sugar (the big crystals) before I bake them to give a little something special to them. This recipe is not too sweet, so it doesn't kill you calorie wise either... they are about 130 calories a pop. His original recipe calls for 1/4 c sugar as the base and adding more per your add ins. I find the 6 T works fine for most everything, but if you like a pretty sweet muffin you might want to start out with 1/2 c.

I store these in a big tupperware container with a paper towel underneath and the lid just slightly ajar. You want a little circulation or the tops will get moist.


Haley said...

Mmmmmmm -- yummy!

My tummy says, "Oooh... 130 calories each... not bad," but my brain says "Yeah... but you'd eat 4 of them."

Sigh... the baking embargo continues.

Mrs Furious said...

"Yeah... but you'd eat 4 of them."

Yep. That's what I do.

If you were really controlled you could freeze them and then just eat one at a time.

When Kid saw the batch I put in she said "I hope you left the cranberries out of 3 of them."... cause that's how many she intends to eat.

Andrea said...

thanks for the recipe last one I used Chris wasnt to fond of I think also because I used only ww flour.

Mrs Furious said...

Your first go round do 1/2 c sugar. It's your best shot and getting him to like them. You can always cut it some the next time.

Anonymous said...

Muffins are what we're making for snacks, too. My recipe calls for butter--I have been subbing coconut oil, and they still love them. I mostly make banana muffins, and the bananas are much stronger than the coconut oil (or my oldest would not touch them!).

Torey said...

I don't know if you'll see this, but I just made these, and WOW!! They are amazing! I had a couple snafus along the way but they turned out amazingly!

I didn't have milk, so I used about 5 T of sugar, and 1/2 C condensed milk and 1/2 C water. And then when I broke my egg into a bowl to beat, it was Twins! There was hardly any white, just two HUGE yolks! I didn't want to waste it (that would defeat the purpose of compacting muffins!) so I used it anyway.

I also made 24 smaller muffins and baked them for 12-14 minutes in my silicone cups. AMAZING! These things are fabulous and you need to get some if you don't already have them. Splurge and get the good ones because my Target brand ones aren't as good as my Crate and Barrel ones.

Thank you for the recipe! Also I had extra apple shreds so I put them in the freezer for next time, will that work?

Mrs Furious said...

yeah they'll still work. The apple will brown due to oxidation but they are totally fine and once you bake them who cares what they look like?

Maybe I will get those liners... that's less wasteful for sure.

Torey said...

the silicone muffin cups are soo worth it! it's less mess, plus after about 5 minutes of cooling they pop right out, no pulling papers off of a cold muffin!! i also think they make things more moist! plus, they're good for the environment and the upfront investment pays off quickly in those little paper things! i have the ones that aren't attached and you just put them on a baking sheet. they dont have to be greased or anything. the cookie sheet stays clean, all you have to clean are the cups!

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