Friday, October 5, 2012

Two Cheese Muffin Recipes


I think most kids go through a picky stage.  There was a time in my life when I eschewed grapes, bananas, peaches, honeydew, tomatoes, onions, pickles, mushrooms, pepper, yogurt, wheat bread, and all kinds of sauce (except ketchup or honey).  Honestly, I lived on starch and cheese: microwaved cheese sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, baked potatoes -- no skins! -- with melted cheddar, and the supreme delight, macaroni and cheese.

Fortunately for my mother, myself, and my future family, my tastes broadened as I got older, but I still indulge my cheese cravings on a regular basis.


Last week I remembered that there was such a thing as cheese muffins, but I hadn't made or had any in years, so I started looking for recipes online.
I found one that looked promising at The Pioneer Woman, and then I thought I remembered that my mom had a recipe from my grandpa, so I called her up.  She said, "Actually, it's from my high school Home Ec class," but I got it from her anyway and decided to try it.

They turned out deliciously: very soft and muffin-y, and slightly sweet behind the cheesiness.  I'm sorry I didn't take any pictures, but I ate ten of the dozen within twenty-four hours (Mr. T ate the other two).  Then I tried the Pioneer Woman recipe a couple days ago to compare the two.  They were also quite tasty: much cheesier, a little saltier, and with a chewier texture.  They're the ones in the photo above.



I feel confident in endorsing both recipes, so I will present them both here.

Recipe 1: Home Ec circa 1979
As I said above, this batter is slightly sweet.  It seems like a basic muffin, with cheese; I could imagine swapping out the cheese for berries or chocolate chips or something and having it turn out well.  I'll try that soon and let you know how it works.
Update: I tried swapping out the cheese for fresh raspberries and took them to a family dinner.  I got several compliments on them, although I thought they could have used even a little more sugar to compensate for the tartness of the berries.

Ingredients
2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. baking POWDER
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. milk
1 c. grated cheese (I used cheddar)

Instructions
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare one 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray (or paper liners).  I used Canola.
2.  Mix the first four (dry) ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Make a hollow in the middle of the powder and set aside.
3.  In a smaller mixing bowl, beat the egg until the white and yolk are well-mixed, then add milk and oil and blend.
4.  Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir together in as few strokes as possible (about 20).  Add cheese in the last five-ish strokes.
5.  Divide batter equally between the 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 20 minutes or until they look done.


Recipe 2: Fig's Cheese Muffins
Use this recipe if you want something really cheesy.  The batter is mostly cheese, so the cheese that touches the muffin cups gets brown and crispy, and the melted cheese makes the dough a little chewier.  Also, this recipe has less flour and a lot less sugar than the previous recipe, so that may or may not appeal to you.

Ingredients

1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 T. sugar
1 T. baking POWDER
1/2 tsp. salt (5/8 tsp. if you use unsalted butter)
3 c. grated cheese (I used cheddar)
1 egg
1/4 c. butter, melted but not hot (I used margarine)
1 c. milk

Instructions

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Prepare one 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.  I used Canola.
2.  Mix the first four (dry) ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Then stir in the grated cheese until evenly distributed.
3.  In a smaller mixing bowl, beat the egg until the white and yolk are well-mixed, then add milk and melted butter and blend together.  (The reason the melted butter needs to be cooled down is so that it won't cook the egg on contact.)
4.  Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir together just until well-mixed.
5.  Divide batter equally between the 12 muffin cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.
I'd love to hear how either or both of these recipes work for you!