Posts Tagged 'Ham and Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins'

Update: Ham and Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins

Forgive me for another update and another breakfast post.  I’ve been entertaining so much for the past two months that I’ve been returning to my “tried and true” recipes…  It seems I learn something new each time, though.

Today’s recipe – Ham and Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins – is one I first tried back in October of 2008.  It’s written for sea level but works beautifully at high altitude, probably because the muffins are made with buttermilk.  (I’ve had a lot of success here in Denver with baked goods that incorporate buttermilk; buttermilk’s high acidity helps batters set more quickly, which can eliminate the “flat tire” phenomenon that occurs so often with high-altitude baking.)  Anyway, they were a big hit the first time around because they’re easy, delicious, and a great make-ahead option for company.

Back in 2008, I placed the batter directly in a greased muffin pan and had just enough for 12 muffins.  This time, I decided to try paper liners.  I couldn’t fit as much batter into the paper liners as I could with the bare muffin cups; each muffin was a scant 1/4 cup instead of a heaping 1/4 cup, so the baking time was reduced from 28 minutes to 22 minutes.

Since the smaller muffins resulted in leftover batter, I decided to make some mini muffins as well.  Each one was made up of 2 tablespoons of batter (one scoop using my cookie scoop) and the muffins baked for 15 minutes.

Ham and Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins

They tasted as fantastic as ever, and now I have three different “formats” for the muffins depending on how I plan to serve them.  Here’s the recipe in case you’d like to try them:

Ham and Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins
Makes 12 muffins without liners, 18 muffins with liners, or 36 mini muffins

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (use 2 1/4 teaspoons at high altitude)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (can up this to 1/2 teaspoon if you use unsalted butter)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large eggs (I bring them to room temperature)
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 1 bunch)
1 cup diced ham (6 ounces)
1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper

Method:
Heat the oven to 400°F.  Coat a 12-cup muffin pan or 12- or 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray or line it with muffin cups.  (The mini muffins will require multiple batches.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and butter.  Stir in the scallions, ham, cheese, and bell pepper.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and use a rubber spatula to mix until just moistened.  Scoop the batter into the prepared pan (heaping 1/4 cup each for unlined 12-cup muffin pan, scant 1/4 cup each for lined 12-cup muffin pan, 2 tablespoons each for mini muffin pan).

Bake the muffins until the tops are browned (at high altitude, about 28 minutes for unlined 12-cup muffin pan, 22 minutes for lined 12-cup muffin pan, 15 minutes for mini muffin pan).  Let the muffins cool in the pan for 15 minutes then loosen the edges with a knife (if necessary) and transfer the muffins to a cooling rack. Serve warm.

To store, individually wrap the muffins in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month.  To reheat, remove the plastic wrap, cover the muffin in a paper towel, and microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds (15 – 20 seconds for mini muffins).

Source: Jim Romanoff, The Associated Press

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Ham and Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins

What if you could invest 20 minutes of active cooking time to have a healthy, satisfying breakfast ready in 60 seconds or less for the next 3 days?  Ham and Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins from Jim Romanoff of the Associated Press is a recipe that allows you do to just that.  I made these easy, savory muffins on Saturday morning and we’ve been enjoying them since.

First, I prepped my ham and veggies.  I thinly sliced 1 bunch of scallions to yield 3/4 cup (the recipe called for 1 cup), diced half of a red bell pepper to yield 1/2 cup, and diced 6 ounces of sliced ham to yield 1 cup.  Next, I prepped my muffin pan by spraying it with cooking spray.  (I used a silicone muffin pan for easy release, but any old muffin pan is fine.  You can use liners as well, if you want.)

In a large bowl, I whisked together 3 cups of flour, 2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder (the recipe actually calls for 1 tablespoon, but I adjusted for altitude), 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

In a medium bowl, I whisked together 2 large eggs, 1 1/3 cups of buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of canola oil, and 3 tablespoons of melted butter.  I stirred in the prepared ham, scallions, and red pepper along with 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese.

To form the batter, I added the wet ingredients to the dry and mixed with a rubber spatula just until everything was combined.  (Don’t overmix.)  I used an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to my prepared muffin pan; 1 heaping scoop per muffin cup was just about right.  (The cups were very full.)

I baked the muffins at 400F until the tops were browned.  The recipe said 20 – 25 minutes; at Denver’s altitude, I got the results I wanted in 28 minutes.  I let the muffins cool in the pan for 15 minutes, turned them out, and served them warm.

Mmmm.  These were seriously good.  The muffin itself was moist and fluffy with great density, and I loved the chunky texture of the ham and pepper pieces.  The scallions and cayenne pepper added the perfect amount of zing.  I did feel like they could be a bit saltier, so I think I’ll double the salt to 1/2 teaspoon next time instead of 1/4 teaspoon.

The recipe made 12 muffins, which is far more than Dr. O and I can eat on our own.  I wrapped each muffin individually in plastic wrap and placed the leftovers in the refrigerator.  (They’ll keep for 3 days.)  As promised, these warmed up beautifully in the microwave…  Each muffin just needs 30 seconds on high to be back to warm, moist, and delicious.

TIPS: I always ask my deli guy or gal to slice my meats thick when I need them for dicing.  The person behind the counter usually has *some* idea of how thick a slice should be to yield the amount I need (though I never expect them to get it exactly right!).

Also, if you have a silicone muffin pan and you choose to use it, remember to put it on a baking sheet for support before you put it in the oven.

Recipe link: Ham and Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins (inactive)

Update 8/23/12: The recipe is no longer published on the Dallas Morning News website.  I’ve written it out in a separate post (and mine isn’t going anywhere!); click here to visit.




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