Posts Tagged 'Muffin Recipes'

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

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

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

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.

Buttermilk Berry Muffins

Yesterday got away from me and I didn’t have time to put together this week’s Request Line recipe, but tomorrow looks promising. “ANZAC” is your clue for what’s to come!

I did enjoy a fabulous brunch with friends yesterday morning, though, and one of my contributions was Buttermilk Berry Muffins from These muffins are moist, delicious, and just bursting with berries.

First, I buttered my 12-cup muffin pan and set it aside. I rinsed and dried 2 cups of fresh mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) and set them aside as well. Next, I used my large glass measuring cup to whisk together 1 large egg, 3/4 cup of buttermilk, 2/3 cup of safflower oil, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (though any old bowl will do).

In a separate large bowl, I combined 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and about 1 teaspoon of orange zest. I gently folded the berries into the dry ingredients, and then folded the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. I mixed until everything was just combined.

I used a small ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to my prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about 3/4 full. I baked the muffins on the center rack of my oven for 20 minutes at 350F; I used the “toothpick test” to make sure they were done. I let the muffins cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing them to a cooling rack.


These were really terrific. The muffins themselves are kind of cake-y, and the baked berries are to die for. I’ll definitely make these again.

TIPS: Don’t rinse your berries until you’re ready to use them (moisture encourages spoilage), and be sure to dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Mixing the berries with the dry ingredients before adding the wet helps prevent the berries from sinking to the bottom of the muffin cups.

Also, I actually ended up with 16 muffins instead of the anticipated 12; I had extra batter, so I baked a second small batch. I *may* fill the muffin cups a bit more next time, but I was pretty happy with the size of the muffins. We’ll see.

Recipe link: Buttermilk Berry Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

The January/February 2008 issue of Everyday Food has a special section on quinoa, which is an ingredient with which I have zero experience. For those who don’t know, quinoa is “an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked” ( It looks a lot like couscous. I was able to find it in the bulk/”health food” section at Kroger, which was nice because I was able to take only the $0.88 worth that I actually needed for the Quinoa Muffins recipe.

First, I had to cook the quinoa. I rinsed 1 cup of raw quinoa and combined that with 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan. I brought that to a boil, reduced the heat to a simmer, covered the saucepan, and cooked the quinoa until it was tender and all water had been absorbed (12 minutes).

Meanwhile, I prepped my muffin pan. I decided to use my silicone muffin pan for this recipe since it releases food so nicely. I still followed the prep instructions in the recipe, though; I brushed the pan with vegetable oil, dusted it with flour, and then tapped out any excess.

Next, I combined my dry ingredients in a large bowl. I whisked together 2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of packed dark-brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 cup of dried cherries (the recipe called for raisins). The quinoa had finished cooking at this point, so I whisked in 2 cups of that as well.

In a separate smaller bowl, I whisked together 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 3/4 cup of whole milk, 1 large egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. I stirred the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined and then divided the batter among the muffin cups.

I put my silicone pan on a rimmed baking sheet (for stability) and baked the muffins for 26 minutes at 350 F, rotating my pan front to back at the 13-minute mark. I cooled the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes and then finished cooling them on a wire rack.


These muffins were dense and so, so delicious. I could absolutely see them as a brunch side at a restaurant. I don’t know if I would have liked them as much with raisins, but the dried cherries were fabulous and they really complemented the muffins’ strong vanilla flavor. I can’t wait to make these again!

TIPS: Don’t skip the rinse step with the quinoa. I guess it has a bitter coating that washes off with water. Who likes bitter muffins?

Also, make sure you actually measure out 2 cups of cooked quinoa rather than just dumping the entire cooked amount in. You’ll probably have more than you need.

Recipe link: Quinoa Muffins

Update: Spiced Carrot Muffins

I’ve made Spiced Carrot Muffins using my frozen individual portions on two separate occasions now, and I have to say I’m so excited I discovered this recipe. There’s nothing like waking up on a weekend morning, preheating the oven to 375 F, and having fresh-baked, homemade muffins 30 minutes later without the mess. The muffins are still moist and delicious… If I hadn’t made them myself, I would’ve never guessed the batter had been frozen. I’m going to make another batch very soon.

In other news, I apologize for the sporadic posting this past week. I was away on business and didn’t have as much time to post as I had anticipated. (I even “over cooked” last week so I’d have something to write about!)

I did receive my first request, so look for Coconut Chocolate Pudding later this week. I’ve never heard of arrowroot powder – I guess it’s sophisticated cornstarch, in a nutshell – but I think Central Market will have everything I need. It will be an adventure!

Keep sending those requests to I’m excited to hear from each of you and can’t wait for our “shared” culinary experience! 🙂

Spiced Carrot Muffins

I made Spiced Carrot Muffins from the January/February 2004 issue of Everyday Food as a New Year’s Day breakfast treat for Dr. O. I was especially drawn to this recipe because the muffin batter is meant to be frozen in individual portions.

I decided to bake 4 muffins and freeze 8, so I actually started with two muffin tins. I put 4 paper liners in one and 8 paper liners in the other. I set the tins aside and combined my dry ingredients in a large bowl: 2 1/4 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of pumpkin-pie spice, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

In a separate bowl, I whisked together 2/3 cup of plain low-fat yogurt, 4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, and 1 large egg. I made a well in the center of the flour mixture and added the yogurt mixture. I stirred everything together until just combined and then folded in 2 1/2 cups of shredded carrots with a spatula.

I divided the batter evenly among the 12 paper liners. (They were each about 3/4 of the way full.) I baked 4 of the muffins immediately at 375 F for 20 minutes. They were delicious! If you wanted to make them seem like more of a “treat,” they’d be great with a drizzle of powdered sugar glaze as well. Regardless, this is a great way to sneak in some vegetables at breakfast.


While the 4 muffins baked, I put the other tin of 8 muffins into the freezer. After 30 minutes, the batter was firm. I removed the unbaked muffins from the muffin tin and placed them in a freezer bag for later use. They can be stored for 3 months. Frozen muffins should be baked for about 30 minutes at 375 F.

TIPS: I was a bit concerned that my batter was too dry right after I stirred the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients. The carrots added a good amount of moisture, thankfully. The batter won’t be runny, but it will fall off a spoon pretty easily when it’s time to transfer it to the muffin tin.

If you decide to freeze some of the muffins, make sure you put the frozen portions back into a muffin tin before you bake them so they’ll hold their shape.

Recipe link: Spiced Carrot Muffins

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