Muffamazing!

Okay. Here's the muffin recipe from The Complete Tightwad Gazette - which, if you haven't read my glowing post about it (here), is a seriously amazing, completely useful book on all things moneysaving. This recipe is great because once you've got the basic formula memorized, it's super-easy to customize muffins to your liking with whatever you've got on hand. It becomes a total no-brainer and let's face it ... no-brainers are awesome.

Ahem.

Create a Breakfast Muffin

Source: The Tightwad Gazette II book by Amy Dacyczyn; Villard Books, New York, 1995

Learn to create your own muffins. This recipe will make 12 muffins. Save energy and time by making a double batch and freeze the extra muffins. Each muffin will ultimately cost you about 4 cents each to make.

To make muffins, combine dry ingredients, and then mix in wet ingredients until just combined; the batter should be lumpy. Grease muffin tin and fill cups two thirds full. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15-25 minutes.

The following ingredients are required:

Grain: Use 2 to 2-1/2 cups of white flour. Or substitute oatmeal, cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, rye flour, or flake cereal for 1 cup of the white flour. Or substitute 1 cup leftover cooked oatmeal, rice, or cornmeal for 1/2 cup of the white flour and decrease liquid to 1/2 cup. (Rita's note - I always find that 2-1/2 is too much.)

Milk: Use 1 cup or substitute buttermilk. Or sour milk (add a tbsp. of vinegar to 1 cup milk). Or substitute fruit juice for part or all of the milk.

Fat: Use 1/4 cup vegetable oil or 4 tbsp. melted butter or margarine. Or substitute crunchy or regular peanut butter for part or all of the fat. The fat can be reduced or omitted with fair results if using a "wet addition."

Egg: Use 1 egg. Or substitute 1 heaping tbsp. of soy flour and 1 tbsp. of water. If using a cooked grain, separate the egg, add the yolk to the batter, beat the white until stiff, and fold into the batter.

Sweetener: Use between 2 tbsp. and 1/2 cup sugar. Or substitute up to 3/4 cup brown sugar. Or substitute up to 1/2 cup honey or molasses, and decrease milk to 3/4 cup. (Rita's note: I like mine on the sweeter side, so I add more sugar. ... Like a half a cup more. *runs off to brush teeth*)

Baking Powder: Use 2 tsp. If using whole or cooked grains or more than 1 cup of additions, increase to 3 tsp. If using buttermilk or sour milk, decrease to 1 tsp. and add 1/2 tsp baking soda.

Salt: Use 1/2 tsp., or omit if you have a salt-restricted diet.

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The following ingredients are optional. Additions can be used in any combination, up to 1 1/2 cups total. If using more than 1 cup of wet additions, decrease the milk to 1/2 cup.

Dry Additions: Nuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, coconut, and so on.

Moist Additions: Blueberries, chopped apple, freshly shredded zucchini, shredded carrot, and so on.

Wet Additions: Pumpkin puree; applesauce; mashed, cooked sweet potato; mashed banana; mashed, cooked carrot, and so on. If using 1/2 cup drained, canned fruit or thawed shredded zucchini, substitute the syrup or zucchini liquid for all or part of the milk.

Spices: Use spices that complement the additions, such as 1 tsp. cinnamon with 1/4 tsp nutmeg or cloves. Try 2 tsp. grated orange or lemon peel.

Jellies and Jam: Fill cups half full with a plain batter. Add 1 tsp. jam or jelly and top with 2 more tbsp. batter.

Topping: Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the batter in the tins.

Non-sweet Combinations: Use only 2 tbsp. sugar and no fruit. Add combinations of the following: 1/2 cup shredded cheese, 3 strips fried and crumbled bacon, 2 tbsp. grated onion, 1/2 cup shredded zucchini, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese. Spices could include a tsp. of parsley and a pinch of marjoram.

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Once you learn the basic combinations, here is your recipe:

2 to 2-1/2 cups grain
1 cup milk
Up to 1/4 cup fat
1 egg
Up to 1/2 cup sweetener
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Up to 1-1/2 cups additions


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