Do You Know the Muffin Man?


Kids love to make muffins nearly as much as they like to eat them!

By Barbara Albright

 

How's this for fun in the kitchen? In about 40 minutes you and the kids can have fresh baked muffins. No mixes, no tricks. Just mouth-watering, homemade apple muffins!

Your kids will have an easy time mixing the batter for the muffins. Once they master these, they will want to expand their muffin repertoire.

Muffin Basics
The standard method for mixing muffin batter is to start with the dry ingredients and then move on to the liquid ones. When you mix the two, stir them together with quick, deliberate strokes.

To begin, put the dry ingredients in one bowl and stir or whisk them together. Dry ingredients include flour, baking powder or soda, sugar, and salt.

Liquid ingredients are milk, eggs, oil, and melted butter. After whisking these together, form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid ones into it. Now mix, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

When the muffin batter is mixed, add any extras, such as the apples and raisins in this recipe. Use only two or three rapid strokes to incorporate them into the batter. When it comes to muffins, over mixing is a dangerous thing!

Muffin Success
Over mixing results in tough or soggy muffins with flat tops. For the best texture and nice, rounded tops, use only as many strokes as you need. You're done when a few white, flowery streaks remain in the batter.

Remember that the consistency of muffin batters vary widely depending on the ingredients.

For light, dome-topped muffins, make sure to:

  • Read the recipe thoroughly before you begin.
  • Assemble all the ingredients before mixing the batter.
  • Preheat the oven to the right temperature - allow at least 20 minutes for preheating.
  • Grease the muffin cups. Line them with paper or foil cups - or not.
  • Fill the muffin cups about two-thirds full.
  • Bake the muffins on the center oven rack for the specified time.
  • Begin checking for doneness at the earlier time given in the recipe. For example, if the recipe says to bake for 20 to 25 minutes, begin checking at 20 minutes.
  • Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffin is done.
  • Set the muffin pans on a wire rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove muffins from the pan and let them cool completely on the wire rack - or eat them warm! These apple muffins are irresistible.
  • Store muffins only when they are completely cool.
  • Store muffins in airtight containers. Apple muffins such as these should be stored in the refrigerator.