While on the phone with my boyfriend recently, I mentioned that I was going to make blueberry muffins (Rahul’s favorite!) but was stopped in my tracks when he posed the question, “What is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?”
My answer was fairly succinct: icing.
But then another friend suggested it was health, which I laughed off because most muffins are more unhealthy than a cupcake. Then I started debating the differences in the batters (stiff muffin batter vs more liquid cake batter). And then I gave up. So, glorious readers, here is a recipe for (healthy!) blueberry muffins to keep you busy as you contemplate this deeply important and urgent philosophical question:
What is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?
Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins (makes 9 muffins)
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used nonfat)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients until well mixed. Add in the yogurt, egg, and vanilla and stir until just combined (the key to muffins is not over-mixing!). Using a spatula, gently fold in the fresh blueberries. Line a muffin pan with muffin cups and spray them gently with cooking spray. Divide the muffin batter evenly between the muffin cups — they will be full! With the oven heated to 375* bake for 14 minutes and let cool slightly before enjoying!
Today is a “snow day”. Now, even by ridiculous Virginia snow day standards, this is a joke. Yes, Texas, the roads are a little icy, but the snow was melted and gone by 11am. But since I didn’t have to go to campus to teach, I’ve been spending my day making a blanket fort in my bed, cleaning the apartment from top to bottom, doing my taxes, and thinking about baking.
While looking through my family cookbook, I realized that I’ve never made a muffin recipe on here. And that has to change.
So here is a classic muffin recipe from my childhood that is perfect for baking a few muffins at a time. The batter keeps really well in the fridge (air-tight container!) for up to 6 weeks and my mom always used it to make a few fresh muffins before we’d leave for school. Plus, it is a fairly healthy muffin to help in the fight against muffin tops everywhere.
No 3-day weekend is complete without muffins.
Refrigerator Raisin Bran Muffins (makes 12 muffins)
1/2 cup regular raisin bran cereal
1 1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil (can sub apple sauce if you have it on hand!)
In a large bowl, combine cereal, flour, sugar, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Mix well. Add to bran mixture and stir until just moist. Use immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks (buttermilk helps preserve the batter, as well as a cold fridge and a tight seal on your container). To bake, fill greased muffin cups about 2/3 full and bake at 400* for 15-20 minutes.