Muffins! Mmmmm. I think muffins are one of my favorite inventions. Cake for breakfast!! Well, it's not like the idea of a regular cake or cookies or brownies being meant for dessert has ever stopped me from eating one or three for breakfast, but with muffins I at least have the satisfaction of knowing that they're meant for breakfast. Someone, who I don't know, but I definitely love, deemed chocolate chocolate chip muffins most-important-meal-of-the-day worthy.
So I have always loved muffins. Growing up, I remember them only as a part of dinner. Onion and cheese muffins. Yum. I don't think we did breakfast muffins, though. Maybe that's why I'm a little obsessed with muffins now. Back in the day when we were living in the good ol' US I would buy muffins from bakeries and at the grocery store. Now that we live a bit too far from those bakeries, I must make my own.
I have been in constant search of good muffin recipes for years now. You may remember that I like chocolate. Particularly chocolate baked into stuff. Well, apart from the (mediocre) apple cinnamon muffins that I've always made, I have generally concentrated my efforts on finding good recipes that contain that addictive substance. Chocolate muffins. Peanut butter chocolate chip muffins. Banana chocolate chip. Cinnamon chocolate chip. You get the idea.
But there's one problem. I want my muffins to be pretty. I understand the whole "it's what's inside that counts" and everything, but I can't help judging a muffin by it's appearance. I like them to be pretty. AND I want them to taste good and be sweet enough and not to be too dry or too light and fluffy. I have found three muffin recipes that I like enough to make over and over. And I'm going to share them with you.
The first one is for chocolate yogurt muffins which I found at Cookie Madness, where Anna bakes something new every.single.day. A girl after my own heart. These are just a good, basic double chocolate muffin. I've tried probably 8 different double chocolate muffins and these are my favorite. They're pretty, just dense and sweet enough and even David, who isn't a big muffin or chocolate fan, likes them.
I also decided to grow up a bit and try using fruit in my muffins, making them slightly healthier. We had some raspberries we couldn't eat fast enough so I baked some into these raspberry-topped lemon muffins, which I found at Smitten Kitchen (where she will tell you where she got it). These were not so very pretty and a little bit more like a cupcake as far as sweetness and lightness, but my-oh-my did we like them. I don't eat a lot of raspberries plain, but I adored them in these muffins. It's a little backwards in that all the sweetness in these muffins is in the lemon part and all the tartness is in the raspberries. I loved getting a raspberry in these 20 times more than I ever loved getting a chocolate chip in any other baked good, ever. Yes, this is still Lisa speaking. Next time I make them I will quadruple (or so) the amount of raspberries. I'll make more than 12 muffins and just stuff them full of raspberries instead of just setting them on the top. Too bad it's after 11pm because I sort of need to go to the farmers market and get some and make these NOW!
And now for my final muffin. I think I saved the best for last. I found this one at Sugar Plum, where Emiline, whose name I love, makes up all her own recipes. When I first started reading food blogs, I didn't get how everyone could just post a recipe from a cookbook on their blog. Now I sort of think that it's a bit like an advertisement for the book, in a way, but Emiline feels the way I did, and only posts recipes she's written herself, which is awesome. I've made a number of them and they're really good.
So I had a jar of cherries that were about to get old and David had been begging me to let him drink the juice from them (?) and I remembered that Emiline had posted about these bada-bing muffins with ginger-oat streusel so I decided to make them, substituting my jarred cherries for the fresh ones it calls for. I also didn't have (and never have had) any crystallized ginger, so I omitted it, and used oil in the muffin instead of melting butter. They were FANTASTIC. Ugly as ever a muffin was (sorry Emiline!), but so extremely tasty. We love them. I pack these with extra cherries, too.
So if you happen to have read all the way through this post, it is very likely only because you care about muffins. So if you do, and you have a favorite muffin recipe you'd like to recommend, I would love you forever if you told me about it in the comments. And I mean forever.