So how would you like to have a freshly baked muffin every morning for breakfast? And not just any muffin, but one with your favourite add-ins. And wait, it gets better. What would you say if I said that your significant other can also have their favourite muffin, freshly baked, even if it isn’t the same flavour as yours. No, I’m not going to tell you to hire a personal chef. It’s much easier and less costly than that. The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion has shown me how this is actually possible. They have a great recipe listed for All-Star Muffins. It is a basic muffin recipe, that you are able to customize with your favourite ingredients, like apple cinnamon, peanut butter chocolate chip, carrot raisin….you get the picture. But the brilliant thing about this recipe is that once the batter is mixed, it will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator! This is a great recipe to keep handy so that you can mix up a batch of muffins the night before a big breakfast or brunch. With all of that prep work done, you can just heat up your oven and get right to baking in the morning.
But how does everyone get their favourite muffin? Here’s what I did. I mixed up a batch of the batter, then divided it in half. To the first half (my favourites) I added Rum soaked dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. Right before I popped these muffins in to bake, I sprinkled some crushed pistachios over the top.
Then I took the other half of that muffin batter and mixed in my husband’s favourites, blueberries and blackberries (I’ve mentioned he is all about fruit in baked goods…) and topped them with a delicious streusel before they went in to bake.
I only baked two muffins on that first day, one for me and one for him. I took the rest of the dough, scooped out muffin sized servings and stored them in 1 cup Tupperware containers so that each morning for the rest of that week, we could just wake up, turn on the oven, make our morning coffee and tea, put two of the pre-scooped muffins (one for him one for me) in muffin tins, pop them in to bake and 20 minutes later we would have freshly baked treats! Of course you could just leave the batter in the bowls in which you mixed it and just scoop a serving out from there each morning, but room is at a premium in my fridge, so the little Tupperware containers worked out much better for us. The muffins were fantastic, moist and delicious. Though we each tried a bite of each other’s, we both insisted that our muffin was the best! Try a batch of these with your favourite mix-ins today and you can rise and shine to a freshly baked treat every morning for a week!
recipe from: King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion
yield: 16 muffins
- 3 1/2 cups (14 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose or cake flour (14 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
- 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease 16 muffin cups or use paper liners.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a handheld or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all the butter is incorporated, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix until incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on low-speed just until the batter is smooth. Do not over beat the muffins here if you want to keep them tender. Mix just enough to moisten the flour. Don’t worry about any small lumps you might see.
At this point decide if you wish to bake all of the muffins or whether you will be keeping the batter in the fridge to bake freshly all week. Use a muffin/cupcake scoop to fill the desired number of muffin tins and bake for 18 to 24 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the muffins from the oven, cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan to finish cooling on a rack. Muffins left in the pan to cool the entire time risk becoming tough from steaming.
White Chocolate, Cranberry, Pistachio Muffins: Soak 1 cup of cranberries in 1/3 cup orange juice, water, rum or bourbon. ( I used Rum!). Fold them into the muffin batter. Fold in one cup of white chocolate chips. Garnish the top of the muffins with crushed pistachios. ***As a variation you can use 2 cups of any dried fruit like apricots, cherries, dates or raisins if you prefer and also top with any type of nut you like.
Blueberry/Blackberry Streusel: Fold 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries and 1 1/2 cup fresh blackberries into the batter. Sprinkle the tops with streusel (recipe below) before baking.
- 1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6 Tablespoons (3 ounces) brown sugar, firmly packed
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 Tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) soft butter
Mix together the flour, brown sugar, salt cinnamon, and butter in a small bowl, until the mixture is crumbly.
**If you are splitting the basic muffin batter to make two different types of muffins, remember to half the above add in measurements.