Sunday, January 17, 2010

Meh Muffins

Not every new recipe can be a success, and my propensity for ad-libbing doesn't help sometimes. I think one sign of a good cook is knowing which elements of a recipe are up for interpretation and which ones are best left alone. I feel pretty confident when it comes to changing spices or skipping an overly-fussy garnish. Not every chili has to be finished with a dollop of sour cream, you know? But sometimes this laissez faire attitude in the kitchen can be dangerous.

Tonight I made minestrone soup, which I've been making without a recipe since college. Sweat onions, then tons of garlic & other Italian spices, add tomato paste & veggies, then a big can of whatever kind of tomatoes you have on hand plus stock to make it soupy, followed by a can of cannellini beans & a handful of tiny pasta. Finish with a grating of parm and a hunk of crusty bread. That is all I can say about it because that's close to a recipe as I have.

So I was feeling pretty competent about my cooking ability after the minestrone got two thumbs up from Jim. Imagine my surprise when ginger-spice muffins later in the evening turned out terribly. I'll eat them, there's not that bad, but I discovered something very important: read the whole recipe! I inadvertently used 1 3/4 cup of pumpkin pureed instead of the 1 cup the recipe actually calls for. The muffins, they are moist.

Weekly New Recipe #3 = Meh

Ginger-Spice Muffins


1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour


2 tsp pumpkin pie spice


1 tsp ground ginger


1 tsp baking soda


1/4 tsp table salt


1/2 cup(s) packed brown sugar, dark brown-variety


1 3/4 cup(s) cooked cubed butternut squash, pureed (yields 1 cup puree)


3 Tbsp canola oil


1/3 cup(s) plain fat-free yogurt


3 Tbsp molasses


1 large egg(s)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine sugar, squash puree, oil, yogurt, molasses and egg. With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix for 1 to 2 minutes (or mix by hand). Make a well in the center of dry ingredients; pour in liquid mixture and gently fold to just combine (batter will be lumpy). Evenly pour batter into prepared muffin pan about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Yields 12 muffins.

41 comments:

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