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Better-Than-Basic Muffins

Begin with our basic batter and add your choice of mix-ins from our list of variations below to make blueberry, chocolate chip, bran-raisin, cherry-pecan, or corn muffins.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 12

Source: Everyday Food, May 2008

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Mix-ins (see variations; optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sanding sugar (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in lower third. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan, tapping out excess. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients; make a well in the center. Add egg mixture to well. With a rubber spatula, gently stir ingredients just until batter is moistened (do not overmix; a few lumps are fine). Add mix-ins, if desired.

  3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full; sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Loosen muffins, and tip them on their sides to cool in pan. Serve warm or at room temperature (muffins are best the day they are made).

Variations

Corn
In Step 2, reduce flour to 1 cup, and add 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal.

Bran-Raisin In Step 2, reduce flour to 1 1/2 cups, and add 1 cup bran and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; replace butter with 3/4 cup vegetable oil (such as safflower). At the end of Step 2, fold 3/4 cup raisins into batter.

Chocolate-Chip
At the end of Step 2, fold 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips into batter.

Blueberry At the end of Step 2, fold 1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) into batter.

Cherry-Pecan
At the end of Step 2, fold 3/4 cup chopped pecans and 3/4 cup dried cherries into batter.

Cook's Notes

To freeze muffins: Place in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze up to 3 months.

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