So, I was listening to podcasts this morning while I cleaned up the kitchen, and I tried out an NPR series that was new to me called Kitchen Window. The episode I listened to was all about breakfast and the idea that a freezer full of quick bread is a great substitute for a greasy donut (or a tendency to skip breakfast altogether). I’m no stranger to the concept of making muffins and freezing them for later. My favorite pumpkin bread recipe always makes so much, that unless it’s destined to be gifts, I have no choice but to freeze the bounty or lose it to mold.
I don’t often bake in the summer – I tend to think of pumpkin muffins as the quintessential Autumn comfort food – but the combination of that podcast and my recent tendency to stockpile yummy things in the freezer for easy access later, convinced me to do it. I defrosted a batch of farm stand strawberries and ground them into a pulp (mainly because my kids won’t eat anything with big chunks floating in it). When the quantity of fruit came up short, I added a few handfuls of local blueberries, and ground them up, too.
The recipe I used was an adaptation of my pumpkin bread recipe, and while the results are good, they aren’t as good as the pumpkin variety always is. For one thing, the muffins didn’t rise as well – the tops spread out and got crispy instead of puffing up nicely. Anyone know what causes that? Too much water in the batter? Not enough fat? Something to do with the wheat flour I substituted for some of the all-purpose flour?
The other thing is that the apple pie spice pretty much overpowered the flavor of the fruit. It’s hard to tell what’s even in these muffins. Neil thought they were gingerbread at first. Anyone know if there’s a particular spice that complements berries well, or is it best to just leave spices out?
Despite my small complaints, they really do taste nice. The boys each ate four mini-muffins this afternoon, and a full-size one with their supper, so if nothing else, they pass the Picky Child Test. That’s always something to write home about, and I’ll certainly be freezing these leftovers for a quick and healthy breakfast option.
Here’s my recipe. Feel free to play with it a little and report back to me if you solve any of my little issues with them!
|1 1/2 cups
White whole wheat flour
Apple pie spice
Eggs, or equivalent egg substitute
- In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and apple pie spice.
- In a separate bowl, mix by hand the sugar, oil, eggs, berries, and water.
- Combine with the dry ingredients.
- Bake in mini-muffin tins at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so.
Recipe By: Lisa Clarke
Yield: 96 mini-muffins
-OR- 24 muffins
-OR- 8 mini-loaves
-OR- 12 muffins, 24 mini-muffins, and 2 mini-loaves, for those of us who don’t have enough of any one particular kind of pan
- These freeze well
- For a quick breakfast, stick a frozen muffin in the toaster oven for one medium cycle. It’s enough to defrost it to the center and make the outside pleasantly crispy