Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Perfect Muffin

Blueberry, apple spice, banana nut, lemon poppy seed, pumpkin, peach, raspberry, zucchini nut, bran, corn—you name the flavor and there is probably a muffin out there to match. However, in all of the flavor mania is lost the joy of a simple, plain muffin. It is the easy and perfect choice for just about any meal.

Remember the muffins we all learned to make in home economics class decades ago? (Okay, so I may have just dated myself with that question.)  This simple muffin becomes the ideal background for any topping—jams, jellies, butters, honey, cheese spread, etc. And it’s quick to make, so you always have fresh, hot bread to serve, whether for breakfast or dinner.

This recipe is the one I learned to make it high school. It was also in my mom’s copy of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, originally published in 1950 and still available today.  (The recipe says the name muffin means “little muffs” to warm the fingers.)

I made up a batch to take to my co-workers at the preschool where I teach, along with a selection of jams and honey.  They were very much enjoyed before our staff meeting.

The Perfect Muffin
[That’s what I call them. The recipe’s name is Popular Muffins.]
From Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a tin for 12 medium-sized muffins.

Sift together into a mixing bowl:
2 cups sifted flour [sift the flour first, then measure]
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup soft shortening [I used canola oil. You could also use half oil and half melted butter, or as the recipe suggests, shortening cut in with a pastry cutter.]
1 egg
1 cup milk

Mix together with a blending fork or pastry blender. [I just stirred it all together.] Then stir just until the ingredients are blended. [There will be some small lumps. Don’t over mix or the muffins will be tough.] Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot.


  1. This is so funny, I'm posting a 'pefect muffin' tomorrow...we'll have to have a cook-off! I do remember home-ec, but not fondly!

  2. Linda, I think they look perfect. You'll get no argument from me:-) Have a great day.Blessings...Mary