What sets a good muffin apart from the bad?

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I think what sets a good muffin apart from the bad are the quality of the ingredients and making sure that they are moist and not dry hockey pucks.

What constitutes a “quality” ingredient?  It’s using whole ingredients (please no imitation) that offer the best flavor – really, how can you go wrong with whole milk and butter?!  It offers more fat which as I have mentioned before equals more flavor.  Please don’t be scared of fat just equate it to tasting that much better!  This recipe doesn’t denote the type of milk as I wanted to let you make that choice on your own but if you are feeling extra adventurous one day give whole milk a try.

So how do you ensure that your muffins don’t come out like dry hockey pucks?  Watch, watch, watch.  In the final minutes of baking, watch how the mounds form on the tops of the muffins.  When they are still underdone you will see bubbles popping on the tops and they will glisten.  The moment they begin to lightly brown is the perfect moment to take them out of the oven.  You can also test their doneness by touching the top of the muffin and press down on it.  If an indention of your finger is left in the muffin top, it isn’t done.  If after pushing down on your finger, the muffin top proudly springs back to shape.  You have muffin perfection!

A tip I often share is using the zest of citrus fruits in your baking.  It adds a punch of flavor that sets it apart.  In this recipe, you will see that just a little bit over a teaspoon of zest is added in to the basic mix.  This is one simple change that sets this muffin apart from just your ordinary blueberry muffin!  Give a try and let me know what you think!

6 thoughts on “What sets a good muffin apart from the bad?

  1. Made your lemon poppyseed muffins this morning. Sans lemons, I used mandarins (zest and juice), and a tsp. of lemon extract for punch. Amazing flavor! I tend to overfill the muffin cups, so they always come out flatter than I expect. But I mostly just blame the altitude ;-). Thanks for your awesome baking recipes! I’m having such fun with your book.

  2. I made the blueberry muffins tonight. We ate almost the entire first batch so I had to make another one because the kids asked me to make more for breakfast and to take to school as a snack. The lemon zest is wonderful, just like you said. I will never use another blueberry muffin recipe again…I’ve searched and tried many. This is a keeper. Thank you!

  3. I tried this and my muffins turned out perfectly. I added lemon zest & did the finger test & they bounced right back so I took them out of the oven right away. I tried the lemon poppy seed muffins (pg 31) because I love lemon anything 🙂 They are to die for…yummy! I’m getting ready to bake the blueberry next. Stay tuned….

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