Dairy products, eggs, fat, flour, leavening agents and sugar.
Make muffins creamy. Yogurt is used, but can be replaced with equal amounts of buttermilk, sour cream, or milk. Fruit and or vanilla yogurt can also be used, as long as you reduce the amount of sugar.
Eggs are all about freshness. A fresh egg sinks lo the bottom when you pull it in a glass of water. When you break open an egg, the signs of freshness are a compact, non runny white, and a bulbous, rather than flattened yoke.
A neutral oil such as canola is ideal. However, it must be refined and not cold-pressed. If you use butter or margarine, simply cut the amount in half, i.e..., ½ cup butter instead of ⅓ cup oil. The fat should be al room temperature or melted.
Wheat flour is generally used. You can also replace half the flour with ground nuts or cookie crumbs. When using whole wheat flour, you need to add a little more liquid to the batter.
Baking powder combines with liquid to fluff up the batter and make It rise. That's why you add it to the wet ingredients, after mixing it with the flour. Stir the mixture only briefly and bake the batter immediately.
White refined, brown, or cane sugar are all equally good. Cane sugar, brown sugar, and honey are less sweet so you need to use a little more. Artificial sweeteners won't work because they don't have the necessary volume.
Chocolate, cookies, fruit, nuts and seeds, spices and vegetables.
Whether white, semisweet. or milk chocolate, chocolate makes muffins creamy and devilishly delicious. You can use either ground or coarsely chopped chocolate. Ready made chocolate chips also taste great.
Crumbled cookies such as ladyfingers, butter cookies. Amarettini, and zwieback contribute to a creamy batter while also adding flavor. If you add cookies, reduce the amount of flour.
It's best to use fruits In season, or try unthawed frozen fruit, if fresh is not available. Other options from the pantry are well-drained, canned fruit or dried fruit that has been soaked for about 1 hour and well drained.
These give muffins flavor and can be a wonderful substitute for part of the flour. Best are almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and ground poppy seeds.
A pinch of cinnamon, cloves, or , a little freshly grated ginger or a spoonful of pumpkin pie spice-all magically add new aromas to your muffin batter. Experiment!
The following are ideal in savory muffins: fresh zucchini, mushrooms, and bell peppers chopped as finely as possible, braised vegetables and well drained corn, or beans from a can.