I love a good muffin, and have spent the last 22 years (essentially my entire adult life) tinkering with recipes. The ideal homemade muffin for me is a treat (as opposed to a hockey puck), but not the glorified large-cupcake-without-frosting “muffin” found in most bakery contexts (those are tasty, for sure, but if I want to eat a delicious muffin from Fusion Bakery here in Middletown, I can’t fool myself that it’s something other than dessert). Through this tinkering I think I’ve found the “sweet spot” (or, I suppose, the “just sweet enough spot”) between healthy and decadent. It certainly helps when you put good stuff in ‘em, as with the blueberries and walnuts here.
My favorite muffin recipes have been those of Ginny Callan, who was the founder (and until 1990 the chef) of the influential early vegetarian restaurant Horn of the Moon in Montpelier, VT. This is not one of hers, but if you find you like the overall balance of texture here, then you’ll likely enjoy her other muffin recipes. There are various options below to push it a little further in the healthy vs. decadent directions as suits your intentions.
Makes 12 muffins
– 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or some or all white if you’re whole wheat averse)
– 1 cup cornmeal (fine or medium grind; coarse is fine if you don’t mind the grit)
– 1 Tbsp baking powder
– ½ tsp salt
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 2 large eggs
– 1 cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
– 1 stick melted butter or ½ cup neutrally-flavored oil (canola, safflower, grapeseed, etc.)
– ½ cup honey (2/3 cup if you like your muffins particularly sweet)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 ½ cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
– 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a muffin tin.
2) Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon) in a large bowl.
3) In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, butter/oil, honey and vanilla until well-enough blended that the honey isn’t clumping on the bottom.
4) Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just well enough to combine.
5) Fold in the berries and, if using, nuts.
6) Spoon evenly into muffin tin (if you like them bigger, you can make 9 or so and put ½ inch of water in the unoccupied muffin places to prevent burning).
7) Bake about 20 minutes (depending on size, could be anywhere from 18-25). Begin checking at 18 minutes; they’re done when starting to brown around the edges and a knife inserted into the muffin comes out clean (or at least clean of batter – you might pierce a blueberry!). Remove carefully (I wait a couple minutes and then use a paring knife to “score” the outer edges before gently working each muffin out of the tin) and cool on a rack.