Fancy Up Your Muffins

We introduced muffins to you last week and many of you bought our new Apple Oat Muffin Mix. Now we're going to tell you how to "fancy up" your muffins. We'll show you how to add a touch of orange to your muffins, put a fancy graham crumb topping on them, or top them with cream cheese. You can do this with your Apple Oat Muffins or a recipe of your choice.

First, for the orange muffins . . .

Pick a recipe that uses baking soda (or baking soda and baking powder) as a leavener. Baking soda is alkaline and needs an acid to complete the chemical reaction that causes the bubbles. Buttermilk is the acid most often used. Since orange juice is an acid, you can use that in place of buttermilk. Add a streusel topping and include one tablespoon of orange zest.

Here is a streusel topping mix that works well:

Orange Nut Streusel Topping

1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon orange zest (the zest from one large orange)
1 tablespoon cold butter

1. Chop the walnuts into small pieces.

2. Stir the walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest together.

3. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry knife or two table knives.

4. Spoon the streusel mixture over the muffin batter evenly before baking.

To put a fancy graham crumb topping on your muffins . . .

Oat-Graham-Brown Sugar Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 sheets of graham crackers, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in pieces

1. Mix the first four ingredients together.

2. Cut the butter in with a pastry knife.

3. Spoon on top of the muffins.

4. Bake as directed.

To put a cream cheese frosting on your muffins . . .

Cream Cheese Topping

8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar


1. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft

2. Add the other ingredients and continue beating until the mixture becomes soft and smooth.

3. Spoon the mixture over the top of the muffins.

4. Bake as directed. The topping will increase baking time by at least several minutes. Be sure and test the muffins for doneness with a toothpick inserted in the center of the largest muffin. If it does not come out clean, continue baking.

For more articles like this visit The Bakers' Library.

© 2004 The Prepared Pantry

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