Nothing like breakfast to start Monday off right… I was making a chocolate loaf for a co-worker’s birthday the other day and that recipe called for buttermilk. Now, I drink 1% milk and I try to cut excess fat from recipes where I can, but one thing I don’t skimp on is buttermilk. The non-fat buttermilk-eqsue type thing most grocery stores sell is a pale imitation of the real thing and I think that every calorie in real buttermilk is worth it. However, most recipes only call for a small amount of buttermilk, leaving me with a whole lot leftover that I’m loath to waste. Enter the buttermilk muffin. This recipe, adapted from Alton Brown’s old-fashioned muffin recipe, is one way I use up the leftover buttermilk so I don’t let all that goodness go to waste. The recipe is really simple and easily doubled (or tripled, as I did) to make muffins in bulk. One thing I really like about these muffins is that they are not overly sweet. They are tender and flavorful, but taste like muffins rather than cake. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of cake, but sometimes you just want a muffin.

 

ingredients

2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C oil
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
1 C buttermilk
1-2 C add-ins* (cranberries, chocolate chips, nuts etc)

dry stuff

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a muffin tin. You can use muffin papers, if you like.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  If you are using a powdered add-in to flavor (ie cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder etc), go ahead and mix in with the dry ingredients at this point.

 

 

wet stuff

In a second bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, yolk, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. If using any wet add-ins such as lemon or almond extract, throw those in as well.

 

 

lumpy

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Lumpy is GOOD because we don’t want to over mix.

 

 

cranberries

Now the buttermilk is going to start doing its thing quickly and we don’t want to lose all that great leavening power, so gently fold in your add-ins*, being careful not to mix more than you have to.

 

 

chocolate prebake

Portion the batter into the muffin tin (I use an ice cream scoop), sprinkle the top with any toppings you are putting into play and then pop in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes.

 

 

cinnamon cooling

When the muffins are finished baking, you can turn the muffins out immediately if you used muffins papers. If you eschewed the papers and greased up instead, let the muffins sit in the tin for about 5-8 minutes and then kind of shake the muffin tins to loosen. If you properly greased the pan, you should really be able to just pick the muffins up out of the tins or just tip the pan over to get them out.

Let the muffins cool on a wire rack (or eat immediately) and then enjoy!

*I made a triple batch, so I divided the batter into three equal portions and made three variations:

vanilla cranberry

1. Vanilla Cranberry: I folded in the scrapings from 1 vanilla bean and dried cranberries. The vanilla really gave the muffins a nice delicate depth of flavor.

 

 

cinnamon prebake

2. Plain Buttermilk with Cinnamon Sugar topping: I mixed together some cinnamon sugar and liberally sprinkled the mixture over the batter in the muffin tins before baking.

 

 

coated chocolate chips

 

3. Cinnamon Chocolate Chip: Mix approx 2 tsp cinnamon in with the dry stuff. At the end fold 1 C chocolate chips into the batter. Once the batter has been portioned into the muffin tins, combine some cocoa powder with cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on the batter before throwing in the oven. A note on using heavy bits like chocolate chips: to prevent the bits from sinking to the bottom of the muffins, toss the chips in some liquor (I like bourbon) and then coat in flour before adding to the batter.

 


Buttermilk Muffins
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • 2¼ C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ C sugar
  • ½ C oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1-2 C add-ins*
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a muffin tin. You can use muffin papers, if you like.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. If you are using a powdered add-in to flavor (ie cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder etc), go ahead and mix in with the dry ingredients at this point.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, yolk, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. If using any wet add-ins such as lemon or almond extract, throw those in as well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Lumpy is GOOD because we don't want to over mix.
  5. Now the buttermilk is going to start doing its thing quickly and we don't want to lose all that great leavening power, so gently fold in your add-ins*, being careful not to mix more than you have to.
  6. Portion the batter into the muffin tin (I use an ice cream scoop), sprinkle the top with any toppings you are putting into play and then pop in the oven for 18 - 20 minutes.
  7. When the muffins are finished baking, you can turn the muffins out immediately if you used muffins papers. If you eschewed the papers and greased up instead, let the muffins sit in the tin for about 5-8 minutes and then kind of shake the muffin tins to loosen. If you properly greased the pan, you should really be able to just pick the muffins up out of the tins or just tip the pan over to get them out.
  8. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack (or eat immediately) and then enjoy!
  9. Variations:
  10. Vanilla Cranberry: I folded in the scrapings from 1 vanilla bean and dried cranberries. The vanilla really gave the muffins a nice delicate depth of flavor.
  11. Plain Buttermilk with Cinnamon Sugar topping: I mixed together some cinnamon sugar and liberally sprinkled the mixture over the batter in the muffin tins before baking.
  12. Cinnamon Chocolate Chip: Mix approx 2 tsp cinnamon in with the dry stuff. At the end fold 1 C chocolate chips into the batter. Once the batter has been portioned into the muffin tins, combine some cocoa powder with cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on the batter before throwing in the oven. A note on using heavy bits like chocolate chips: to prevent the bits from sinking to the bottom of the muffins, toss the chips in some liquor (I like bourbon) and then coat in flour before adding to the batter.