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Mysterious Battle of the Muffins

Sunday baking lemon muffins

 Image credit: Jennifer Balaco / Flickr Creative Commons

I baked muffins all the time when I lived in Winnipeg. But I was never very good at it. Attempt after attempt yielded muffins with mountain peaks instead of rounded tops, or they didn’t rise, or they had cracks in them that resembled craters on the moon. Finally, I gave up baking them all together, until recently.

When I switched to a soft diet because of my teeth issues, finding something to snack on has been challenging. To my surprise, muffins without chunks of fruit or nuts are included in some types of soft diet meal plans. It inspired me to try making my own again.

So, I unearthed my apple muffin recipe and went to work. Once baked, all 12 muffins hunkered down in their individual cups as close to the bottom of the pan as they could get. Not quite hockey pucks, but they sure didn’t look like the picture in the cookbook.

I confided my mysterious battle of the muffins to my BFF Ms. Google and came up with a couple of baking secrets. On the fourth Sunday of October,  I made apple banana muffins for breakfast. I didn’t overwork the mixture; I greased the inside of the muffin tin as well as the top (if they rise too high then at least you can still remove them); I filled them only 3/4 full; and before popping them into the oven, I placed the muffin tin on a cookie sheet. Apparently, this prevents the bottom of each muffin from burning.

The following Sunday when I went to make muffins, I hadn’t done any grocery shopping, so I was all out of apples. I made chocolate banana muffins instead. Yesterday, again down on groceries, I whipped up a batch of lemon muffins.

I eat a couple for Sunday brunch, then snack on them throughout the week. No more hockey pucks! No more moon craters! I’m still going to keep practicing though, just to make sure I’ve got it right.

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