A few weeks back I posted about taking a ton of freezer meals to a good friend as a birthday gift. Of course when you’re cooking for one, doing things like making an entire batch of muffins can be overkill. After all, you can only eat so many blueberry muffins before you start to get a little tired of them.
That’s why I absolutely love the base muffin recipe I’ve been using for years. It’s got a nice crumb, a mildly sweet flavor and pairs well with just about any muffin add-ins you can think of with the exception of lemon poppyseed and banana nut. (And since I don’t personally like lemon poppyseed and already have a banana bread/muffin recipe…that’s just peachy keen with me!)
This recipe was originally for blueberry muffins and features a really nice streusal style crumb topping. I’d adapted it in the past using different berries and some dried fruit, but when I was making the muffins for my friend I also made a cinnamon swirl muffin that simply incorporated more of the streusal throughout the muffin and tried another one that included some chunks of dark chocolate with sea salt.
I’ll give you some variations here, but feel free to play around on your own. This is a pretty forgiving recipe.
Base Muffin Recipe
- 1.5 c flour
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup canola oil (or applesauce)
- 1/4 c granulated sugar
- 2.5 T flour
- 2 T butter, softened
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 cup chocolate chips (or, chop your favorite chocolate bar, I love dark chocolate w/sea salt)
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries + 2 t orange zest
- 3/4 cup dried blueberries + 2 t lemon zest
- 1 cup dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds (Trader Joe’s sells these)
- 3/4 cup streusal topping
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans + 1/2 cup streusal topping
- 1 cup diced apples + 1 t cinnamon + 1/2 t nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 1/2 pint glass mason jars (or muffin tins.) Combine the dry ingredients for the base muffin mix in a bowl. Put milk, egg and either oil or applesauce into a bowl and whisk to mix completely. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold to mix. Mix until just moistened…a few streaks of flour won’t hurt anything.
In another bowl, mix sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon until small crumbs form. Use a pastry cutter or fork for best results.
Add chosen flavor add-ins to muffin base.
[Note: If you want to do like I did and make a wide range of muffins from a single recipe, just have the various items on hand and mix as you go. I’d scoop a muffin’s worth of batter into a small bowl, add my mix-ins, give it a quick stir and put it into the mason jar. I didnt’ measure, just eyeballed it for the most part. This works super well for when you have just a little bit of something on hand. I used up the last of my fresh raspberries, zested an orange I was going to cut up for lunch, diced up the last two squares of a World Market chocolate bar, etc…]
Fill jars or muffin tins half full. Sprinkle with steusal topping. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes for muffins and for 25-30 minutes for mason jar muffins…until a toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean.
For mason jar muffins…allow to cool for 15-20 minutes, then put lid on and screw the cap on tightly. Place into freezer immediately. These will store for six months. To reheat, remove from freezer and set on counter the night before, or remove lid and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds.