Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Effing SUCCESS. Well, almost.

Now these... these are muffins.

Last night, The Husband came home to find me standing in the kitchen, my hands braced on the counter, my head bowed as if in prayer. He kissed me hello, but could sense something was wrong. I looked him square in the eye, took a deep breath, and said, “Honey, here goes round three.”

He frowned briefly, not understanding. Then realization dawned and he began to back away nervously. His left eye started to twitch. “Muffins? AGAIN!?” he exclaimed as sweat beaded on his brow.

I nodded helplessly. “You might not want to be here for this.”

And then I fucking went to battle. These bastards muffins never stood a chance.

Let me back track a little so we’re all on the same page.

Muffin attempt #1: Doughnut Muffins. Made from a cookbook that I know nothing about except that it was purchased at Costco and then left behind by a guest in the hotel. Result: although they were tasty, the texture was all wrong and they were much too pointy.

Muffin attempt #2: AB’s muffin recipe from a Good Eats episode. Result: complete baking fail. They were greasy, sunken in. Awful. Mostly likely baker’s error. (Let's be honest.)

Because my faith in him is as strong as my love for chocolate, I used another Alton recipe for the third batch. This one out of his book. Which was very similar to the other with some minor alterations.

As soon as my timer went off and I opened the oven door, I could see a huge improvement. They weren't sunken in, nor were they pointy. They were perfect. I grabbed the pan and dashed into the den where The Husband sat worriedly awaiting the news.

“Honey! Look! Muffins!” And then I promptly did a jig.

My only complaint is that they were a bit dry due to overcooking. Totally my fault. The directions said the muffin cups should be full. I used a disher that clearly wasn't large enough and actually had some batter left over. Rather than try to distribute it evenly, I just popped ‘em in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. A couple minutes less and they probably would have been perfect.

Alton’s Old School Muffins

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 cup plain yogurt
Bit and pieces (nuts, fruit, chips, etc.)

Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Whisk together the wet ingredients (sugar, oil, eggs, yogurt). Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Do not mix until smooth. Mix for a long ten count and another three for the bits and pieces. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin (I use Baker’s Joy) and bake for 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Even the texture is as it should be. (Insert grinning-like-a-fool here.)

(Printer-friendly version.)


  1. Oh lord, they look perfect, delicious and... mmmmmmmmmmmm...

  2. Stephanie, I had to laugh when I came to your site today and saw that you've been changing it around again. Too funny! It always looks great!Mmmm, these muffins look so good! Why do I never have plain yogurt when I need it? Oh well, it's a little too hot in my kitchen to turn on the oven today anyway. And I have to mention that you have some beautiful bokeh in the background of your shots today!

  3. Gayle, I need to be stopped! Seriously. I'm vowing to not touch the HTML or CSS or anything else on this blog EVER AGAIN. Or, for at least one month. ;)It IS too hot to turn the oven on. Yesterday was the hottest day of Summer so far. Over a hundred when I left work at nearly five in the afternoon. And I still decided to make these muffins. That's what happens when I get completely obsessed with something. Nothing else matters. Sigh.

  4. It is going to have to get much cooler for me to bake. Last night my husband turned the oven on to toast some buns, and within moments I was overheated. Sigh. And these look SO good!

  5. Gotta love AB! He's one of my secret boyfriends.These muffins look delectable and completely delish...and that has nothing at all to do with the fact that I skipped lunch and have been suffering carb/sugar cravings for days.

  6. Those muffins look awesome!Now get out there and sell them bitches!

  7. OHHHHHHHHHHH, I am going to have to do some baking tomorrow! Those look absolutely excellent.

  8. After all that bloodshed, I bet victory never tasted as sweet! :)(btw, thanks for checking out my blog!)

  9. My husband would love these. No matter what quick bread I make, he always says, "Why couldn't you put chocolate chips in it?"Just so you have an alternate recipe (not that I don't love me some Alton, mind you), I have had excellent results using Mark Bittman's "Sweet and Rich Muffins" recipe from his "How to Cook Everything" cookbook. Which, if you don't own it, is totally kick ass. It's the kind of cookbook an improviser like me loves. He gives explanations, recipes, and then tons of variations you can try. This was not a paid advertisement, though Mr. Bittman should feel free to make me dinner anytime as payment.

  10. Those muffins are beautiful. Simply beautiful. I might start crying.Now how 'bout you scoot on over to my house and help me with my blueberry problem.s.o.s.

  11. Wow, those look delicious! I almost wanna go start bakin...naw, but I think I will try this sometime when I wanna impress a cowgirl!

  12. These look great! Excellent job on muffins_v3. I too would like to call Alton my boyfriend. He's the best!