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Moosewood Muffins

Recipe excerpted from:
Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
by The Moosewood Collective
used with permission

Just by adding fruit, nuts, and/or chocolate chips, humble muffins can be transformed into a multisensory treat. Our basic muffin recipe leaves plenty of room for creative inspiration; over the years, early-morning Moosewood muffin-makers have tried more than two hundred variations. We've listed some of our most popular combinations. If you think of something else that appeals to you, we urge you to try it.

At Moosewood, morning customers like a muffin with their coffee, and lunch and dinner customers often check out the muffin case when it's time for dessert. The streusel topping adds a special touch. It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, so if you anticipate baking muffins regularly, make extra topping and you'll save time later.

For a vegan variation, omit the egg and use soy margarine and soy milk in place of the butter and the milk.

Yields 12 muffins
Preparation time: 30 to 35 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Cooling time: 15 minutes

streusel topping (optional)
1/3 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

wet ingredients
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups chopped fruit, and/or nuts, and/or chocolate chips*

dry ingredients 2 cups unbleached white all-purpose or pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or other spice (optional)

  • See the Variations for suggested flavor combinations. Use 2 cups of chopped fruit (one kind or a combination); or 1 cup fruit, 1/2 cup nuts, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips; or 1/2 cup nuts or chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups fruit.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by lightly oiling the cups or placing a paper liner in each cup.

If you want a topping, mix together all of the streusel ingredients and blend with a fork until the butter is pea-sized or smaller. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and then the milk and vanilla; the mixture will look lumpy. By hand with a rubber spatula, fold in the fruit and/or nuts and/or chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, if using, and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula without overmixing. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle each muffin with a scant tablespoon of streusel topping if you like.

Immediately place the muffins in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until puffed and golden. After about 20 minutes, rotate the muffin tin in the oven to ensure even baking.

Remove the muffins from the oven and place the tins on a rack to cool for about 15 minutes. The hot muffins are quite soft and may fall apart if handled right away. Serve warm or cool completely and store in a sealed container at room temperature.

Per 1.75-ounce serving: 167 calories, 3.1 g protein, 6.7 g fat, 23.6 g carbohydrates, 3.9 g saturated fatty acids, 38.4 mg cholesterol, 169.4 mg sodium, 0.5 g total dietary fiber

Variations -- Here are some of our most popular muffin varieties. Fruit should be chopped into pieces large enough to be easily recognizable.

  • Peach Blueberry: 1 cup peeled and chopped fresh peaches and 1 cup fresh blueberries.
  • Apple Cranberry: 1 1/2 cups peeled, cored, and chopped Granny Smith apples, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen chopped cranberries (you can chop cranberries in a mini processor), and 1 additional tablespoon of sugar.
  • Mango Banana Chocolate Chip: 1/2 cup peeled, pitted, and chopped ripe mangos, 1 peeled and chopped ripe banana, and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Papaya Red Raspberry: 1 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, and chopped and 1 cup fresh red raspberries.
  • Peaches & Pecans: 1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped fresh peaches and 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans.
  • Pear Chocolate Almond: 1 cup peeled, cored, and chopped ripe pears, 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds, and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon: 3/4 cup cooked mashed pumpkin (canned is fine), 1 cup peeled, cored, and chopped apples, and an additional 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip: 3/4 cup cooked mashed pumpkin (canned is fine), 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans, and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Strawberry Chocolate Almond: 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries, 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds, and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Excerpted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics by The Moosewood Collective Copyright 2001 by The Moosewood Collective. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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