How to Make Soft, Moist Muffins

There is nothing like a tender, soft, moist muffin straight from the oven. The perfect muffin’s outside is never hard, and when pulled from its muffin paper or popped out straight from the muffin pan it comes out completely and easily. How in the world is this done?

There are some tricks to muffins that many recipes (or box instructions even) do not include.

The first trick is to NEVER use a hand mixer. Think of muffin batter as a tiny soft baby that can easily crush.

The best utensil for mixing muffins is a wooden spoon.

Make a well into the dry ingredients of the muffins and add the wet ingredients into the “hole”. Gently fold the dry ingredients over and stir softly. NEVER stir the batter more than 20 times; count each turn of the spoon around the bowl as one, two, and so on.

It is okay to have some lumps in the batter. The object is not to rid the batter of the lumps, but to not over mix.

When putting the batter into the muffin tins, I like two methods. The first, method is to use a ? cup measuring cup. My other favorite method is to use an ice cream scoop with the sliding piece inside to easily push the batter out of the spoon and into the cup.

Here are a couple of recipes to try your hand at:

Blueberry Muffins

Use fresh or frozen blueberries to make these blueberry muffins.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, rinsed
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Sugar for topping

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. Add buttermilk, beaten eggs, and melted butter; mix until dry ingredients are just moistened. Mix berries with 2 tablespoons of flour; fold berries into batter.

Spoon batter into greased muffin pans, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full. Sprinkle each with a little sugar. Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes.
Makes 18 to 24 muffins.

Streusel Muffins

FOR MUFFIN MIX:
1 egg
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. oil
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

STREUSEL MIX:
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. melted butter

Grease or line 12 muffin cups with paper cup liners. In a bowl, slightly beat the egg; beat in milk and oil. Set aside. In a large bowl stir flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center. Add the egg mixture all at once. Stir just until moistened. Do not over beat. Batter should be lumpy. Spoon into muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.

Top with streusel. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and serve warm.

OPTIONAL: Separate streusel mix in half. Put in the center of the muffins and rest on top.

Shiloah Baker is a mother of seven children and homemaker who resides in North Carolina. She is the owner of Homemaking Cottage & Co. , a website which offers homemaking related articles, books, eBooks, ideas, other homemaking related materials, and a subscription service. For more information go to: http://www.homemaking-cottage.com

or her blog at http://homemakingcottageblog.blogspot.com to learn how she raises seven children and runs a business at home.