Tag Archives: mini-muffins

Blueberry-Strawberry Mini-Muffins

25 Mar

Another Perfect Mom Moment gone astray. I had the blueberries. I had the jam. I had the flour, the sugar, the butter, the cinnamon, the eggs. I had the kindergartener signed on to the project. But oops (oops being a euphemism for the words I actually used when I realized), I did not have the yogurt for our favorite blueberry-lingonberry mini-muffins.

A favorite for tea, lunchbox or thoughtful treat for neighbors, caregivers and friends

Usually we do blueberry-lingonberry muffins with yogurt – light and lifty


But, snow falling on the first day of Spring told me that baking had to be. So Iron Mom took over from Perfect Mom (who I don’t like very much anyway) and made from lemons lemonade. Or in this case, a different muffin. As Temple Grandin’s mom used to say, “Different, but not less.”

Sweet and petite blueberry mini-muffins

Sweet and petite blueberry mini-muffins

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Banana Maple Walnut Muffins

22 Dec

I’ve crossed to the dark side and I am never-ever-ever going back. After years of greasing — and subsequently washing — four trays of mini-muffin baking cups (that is 48 — forty-eight, count ’em– little tiny cups each with its own pain-in-the-cuticles little edge that gets full of burnty-bits because, of course, they are also a pain-in-the-cuticles to grease) I finally bought some paper muffin cup liners and I don’t think I’ll ever bake naked again.

Good thing, because this is a nice little recipe that I would like to do again, but might have put it off because of the aforementioned greasing and washing thing.

Full disclosure: Leandro is usually deeply involved in all baking activities. This time, however, he had a friend over and they didn’t feel like it and they were very happy (meaning: not bothering me) so, why eff up a good thing? Also, in retrospect, the many tiny 1/4 teaspoons of this and that really aren’t suited to baking with kids who prefer to throw puffs of flour and baking soda around. So I went ahead and made these myself – his little friend’s mom arriving just in time to help me fill the cups – and had a lovely time.

This was a big hit with my colleagues and everyone else who tried them. Leandro was not so keen (today I seem to have a great deal to disclose, don’t I?), at least he wasn’t at first, but later warmed up to them and loved them in his lunchbox with yogurt for dipping. Oh yes, and the original recipe comes from Food to Live By, by Myra Goodman of Earthbound Farms fame!

Note about the maple syrup: I am pleased to say it comes from New York State! Sugar Brook Maple Farm in Kerhonkson, NY (845-626-3466) to be exact. It is lovely and rich and mellow and thanks to Hatti and Emma for pointing it out to us on our (somewhat) recent visit to her place in New Paltz!

Banana Maple Walnut Muffins

2 Cups flour (mix of whole wheat and white is fine; all whole wheat is too heavy)

1.5 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

½ cup pure maple syrup

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup whole milk (lowfat is okay)

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ tsp vanilla extract

2 Cups mashed very ripe bananas (4-5)

¾ Cup walnuts, chopped fairly fine

Position rack in center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°. Line muffin tins with liners or grease with butter.

Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon in a large bowl and combine well.

Place eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar, milk, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk to combine well. Add the bananas and stir to combine.

Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the walnuts. Do not overmix or the muffins will be tough. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filing almost to the brim.

Bake muffins until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean (13-15 minutes for mini-muffins; 20 – 30 for standard-size muffins).

Let tins cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove. They will keep for about three days in an air-tight container. Reheat for 10 seconds in a microwave or 350° oven for 5-10 minutes.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins (Easing into a delicious autumn)

11 Sep

The start of the school year makes me think of cozy sweaters, red wine and apples. There are good things about the end of summer and those are three of the best.

It is also the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and a little comfort food is in order.

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Tapas, interrupted, to do some baking with the boy!

19 Dec

I have said I am not much of a baker, but I got inspired to try with my niece, the incomparable Sofia, when she was little, figuring kids will love to cook if they can make their own desserts. It was good fun.

Now I bake pretty often with my own son, Leandro. You have to be ready for a bit of a floury, batter-splattered mess, for tussles over the right time to help, for wandering attention. The pay-off is a delicious-smelling house, not-too-sweet treats for the week and, I hope, a kid who knows his way around a kitchen in the future.

And, of course, the blessing of achieving something together (and not planting him in front of the T.V. in order to get something done).

We most often make mini-muffins – four trays of 12 will suffice for a standard 12-muffin recipe. Then we have 48 little muffins which we divide and deliver to various neighbors and friends (he is very proud to tell people, “I made these for you.”) and I pack three at a time in his lunch box. I also pack three at a time in my own gob, but nevermind…The downside of mini-muffins is washing the tins by hand. Let them soak first!

Here’s our simplest, entry-level recipe for banana muffins. See notes for baking with kids at the end!

Basic Banana Muffins

6-ish overripe bananas

¾ Cups sugar (regular or light brown are fine)

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1.5 Cups unbleached white flour

1/3 Cup (5 and 1/3 Tbsp) melted butter

Preheat oven to 400°. Mash bananas in a big bowl (they don’t have to be smooth). Add sugar and egg. Add the melted butter (not too hot, or there will be lumps when it hits the cold batter). Separately, combine the dry ingredients, then add to banana mixture and combine until thoroughly wet and then stop! Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake for 12 minutes (15 minutes for regular size). Makes 48 minis; 12 regular. Will keep for three days out of fridge, a week in.

NB: 1. Lay out all your ingredients and equipment before calling the kids to help! 2. Grease muffin tins before getting started. 3. Aprons are a very good idea. 4. This is the time to remind them about thorough hand-washing and no coughing into the batter! 5. By all means let the little ones try to spoon the batter into the tins. It will be a mess, I promise you, but the muffins come out fine and it does wonders for their fine motor skills, their concentration and their feeling of accomplishment.

On bananas: Keep a ziploc bag in the freezer for overripe bananas or bananas that don’t get finished (trimming off the bit end, of course). DO peel them first. When you have six or thereabouts, you are ready to make bananas muffins!

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