A Tale of Two Muffins
Sorry for the long silence! It’s not that Nick and I haven’t been eating, but we’ve been eating a lot of our favorite recipes and those are already on the site! So I just haven’t had much new stuff to post lately, but I did a little experiment last week. When the mood strikes to cook or bake I usually end up debating between two or three enticing recipes before making a final decision. Last week, I wanted to make muffins, but instead of picking one and forgetting the other recipe, I decided to put them head-to-head in a muffin cage-match. The kitchen was a mess at the end of the night, but one muffin emerged from the rubble as the winner and champion.
The two recipes are listed below. One (featured on the right in the top photo) is from Vegan Yum Yum with the only change being I used cow milk, not soy milk. The other (featured on the left in the top photo) is for a ricotta peach muffin found on “the internet.” I think both muffins could have benefited from cinnamon, but I think that of about almost every dish I make. Now to the winner– hands down- the ricotta muffin. The nearly vegan muffin was spongy and dense in a way that wasn’t appealing and even with the brown sugar sprinkled on the top, never developed the nice crust a muffin needs to be more than a tiny cake you eat for breakfast or stick in your pocket for a snack later in the day. It did rise more than the ricotta one and got some points for that, but the taste and texture were not what I was looking for in a muffin.
The ricotta muffin was light, fluffy, crispy on top and soft on the bottom without being soggy. And it has a lot more protein (from the eggs and ricotta) which kept me full longer! Yay Ricotta Peach Muffins! I will make these again this summer when I get back from another trip to Michigan! I still have about 4 cups of frozen peaches from the last trip, I’m hoping to turn them into ice cream soon. I’ll keep you posted.
First the winning recipe.
Peach and Ricotta Muffins
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup creamy ricotta
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup peaches, peeled and diced
2 peaches, sliced for garnish, if you want, I didn’t do this because my peaches were diced already
- Preheat oven to 350° F. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, blend together brown sugar, ricotta cheese, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add flour to brown sugar mixture and blend just until incorporated. Stir in diced peaches and spoon into a greased muffin tin. Arrange a few sliced peaches on each muffin if you are doing that. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from muffin pan.
- Yield: 18 standard muffins–
The orginal recipe said it would make 12 “standard” muffins. I don’t know what kind of muffin tin this person had, but I got 12 + a small loaf pan of muffins. Perhaps I need a bigger muffin tin… Anyway, the runner up, or as we say in the cage match world, “the first loser”, or “the best of the worst” I’m not sure why I’m being so mean to this muffin! It was good for a vegan recipe, but I don’t have time in my life for recipes like that. Caveats are not a good thing when you have limited stomach space.
Almost Vegan Brown Sugar and Peach Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins
2 Cups Flour (spelt or all-purpose wheat)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar*
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup milk (+ 2 Tbs more for all-purpose flour)
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Oil (like canola)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 – 2/3 Cup Peaches, chopped (fresh or canned)
Extra Brown Sugar, for sanding
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Line your muffin tins with muffin cups. Mix the dry ingredients together.
Whisk the wet ingredients together until incorporated and thickened. Add wet to dry and gently fold until the flour well combined. Add the chopped peaches and fold in gently.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way. Sprinkle with extra brown sugar, and add extra peach pieces on top if you’d like. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. The centers should also bounce back when pressed lightly.
And finally, should you run out of brown sugar while making two batches of muffins, might I suggest you make some of your own out of sugar and molasses! It’s a fun process and at first I was skeptical that the thin lines of molasses would coat all the sugar, but it worked! Just add the molasses and smush it around until the sugar turns brown. I used the black strap molasses from all the Christmas baking I did and it was really good!