Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday's Vintage Recipe: Muffins

In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning
glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of
months of thought and care and toil. And at no
season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we
get such superb colour effects as from August
to November. ~Rose G. Kingsley

I've been trying out various muffin mixes and muffin recipes to find something the kids would like for breakfast and snacks. I found this one in my copy of Culinary Art Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer, published in 1950. This is a huge 979 page, plus index, cookbook, so I'm sure I'll be sharing from it again. Before I give you the recipe and notes I have to share one of the rhymes the book uses to teach the proper cooking technique for muffins.

If the oven is too hot, all the good mixing has
gone to naught. Muffins turn out poorly shaped,
full of holes, and are often tough.

These rhymes are throughout the entire cookbook and make it fun to read, as well as use. Here is the recipe, and my notes follow:

Caramel Cinnamon Muffins

3 tablespoons butter (I used stick margarine)
2/3 brown sugar
2 cups sifted flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 tablespoons melted shortening (Microwaved 50 seconds)

Grease the muffin pans and place 1/2 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon brown sugar in each muffin cup. (See the picture below) Sift flour, baking powder, salt and the cinnamon together. Beat egg; add milk, shortening and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Add this to the sifted dry ingredients, stirring only enough to dampen all the flour. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full and bake in a hot oven (425 degrees F.) for 20 minutes. Makes 18. If desired, chopped nuts or raisins may be added to the butter and brown sugar in the bottom of the cups.

Everyone liked these muffins, but they didn't have a cake-like texture. They were more like a coffee cake. A couple of things I may have overlooked and would change next time: I only sifted the flour once with the dry ingredients. I think sifting it once alone, and once more with the dry items may make it lighter. I also did use margarine instead of butter, which may have changed it slightly. Since margarine costs MUCH less then butter, and this is an everyday recipe I'll stick with it. Also, whole milk was probably used instead of 2%, which may have made a little difference too. I really liked these muffins and would certainly make them again.

I also think it would be yummy with a little brown sugar sprinkled on the top before baking. This is the finished muffin:

I just want to end with a reminder about muffins. Do not over mix. That's why it calls for the egg and wet ingredients to be mixed BEFORE adding to the dry. Those you mix well, but once it's combined you want to gently mix to moisten all the flour, then stop. Hmmm...wonder if that should have a rhyme?

If you don't want to end up in a fix,
Be sure you never over mix.

Maybe I should just stick to the baking:)

On OFL I have a page of muffin recipes here:


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