Tips for Making Great Muffins
Muffins are great to make during these cold winter months. They are so simple to mix that they make a great “first time cooking” food for kids to learn to cook.
When you are teaching an older child how to cook, look for facts or tips about the things you will be making. Even if you are a seasoned cook, this can really help. When cooking, we do some things automatically and don’t think to mention them to our children. Reading about it helps them to understand but can also remind us to tell them certain basic things.
It can be helpful to have kids start a cooking scrapbook. When you cook homemade biscuits have them make a page with the do’s and don’ts for biscuits. Do the same for cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. By the time they are ready to leave home, they will have their own “personal” cookbooks to refer to. You could even add things to it like grandma’s biscuit recipe or some short funny stories and bloopers about your experiences cooking together.
Here’s how to mix muffins to produce an even texture:
- Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and gently whisk with a fork to aerate.
- Mix liquids together, beating eggs. I measure the milk and all the liquids into a measuring cup, then add the eggs and beat with a fork.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquids into that. (A well is a large indentation you make in the flour mixture with your fist or a spoon.)
- Stir the mixture just enough to moisten it. Don’t over mix or try to get all the lumps out. If you over mix the batter, it will produce holes or peaked tops or cause the muffins to have a tough texture.
- Muffins are great to make and freeze. Then you can grab a couple of the muffins with a steaming cup of coffee in the morning for a quick breakfast or for a snack during the day.
- You can make the basic recipe like Mom’s Sweet Muffins and add fruit, raisins, or nuts. When you do this, toss the fruit, raisins or nuts into a little flour first. This helps to distribute them evenly in the batter.