Cornmeal & Loganberry Muffins {Vegan}

Loganberry & Cornmeal Muffins-9

When I started baking years ago I remember being perplexed by certain recipes. Cakes and brownies would always turn out well but a) chocolate chip cookies and b) muffins never worked for me. I have to say that I blame this on me using recipes from ‘older’ English cookbooks – the ones with the types of recipes we’d be taught for basic cooking skills in Food Technology lessons at school. Let me tell you something, those cookbooks are great if you want to make hot cross buns and Victoria sponges but terrible for quickbreads, muffins and cookies.

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Snickerdoodle Cookie Topped Blueberry Doughnut Muffins

So you know when you’re sitting at your computer, reading some blogs, checking some stats, ignoring someone on facebook?

You’ve got Alt-j blasting in the background while browsing… it’s about to get to your favourite part of the song – and you’re singing along of course.

and..ooh, look a new post for you to read  – you can see it in the google reader preview page, pretty pictures…shift+ click that, add another new tab to the growing tab collection in chrome’s window. 😀 😀 😀

 

……….aaaaaaand then your computer dies.

 

Literally, from hero to zero in 1 second. No blue screen of death, no ‘Windows is Shutting down’ (dah na na na). Nothing to buffer to shock of losing everything good at that second.

The cold, dark reality hits you – how loudly/badly you were singing, how many tabs you actually had open. How annoying/amazing computers are.

That is Monday.

Yeah, so my computer died on Monday (literally the above story, that was 100% my Monday night). I figured out the problem, but it took me the whole of Saturday to do. Luckily my dad is a computer-backup wizard and so all my files are fine anyway :’) THANKS DAD!

But jeez, it makes you realise how important backing your hard drive up is. Also made me remember how awesome chrome is, because you can just log into it and get all your book marks back (I pretty much have thousands of recipes bookmarked – from that primitive time known as the ‘pre-pinterest’ era).

Pro tips right there.

Anywho, to make me feel better about wasting the whole of my Saturday on fixing my computer, I needed some cakey-goodness to re-energise me. I couldn’t be bothered picking what to bake;

and what do ya do when you can’t decide? MAKE EVERYTHING AS ONE BAKED GOOD.

Cookies? Muffins? Cinnamon? Dougnuts? – I believe the proper scientific term is ‘heck yes’.

A snickerdoodle cookie is literally baked on top of blueberry-studded doughnut-muffin batter. You end up with fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth blueberry muffin, with a completely crisp outer layer (from cinnamon-sugar-coating the muffin pan and from the cookie). What’s everybody’s fave part of muffins? The crispy edges, cinnamon-sugar crackled top?

Well: These have pretty much the best muffin top in the whole entire world – crispy, sugary, AH.MAY.ZING!

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Perfect Lemon Muffins

It’s. so. COLD.

It snowed in London last night; The one time it snows this winter and it’s on a Saturday. Yeah, well done Weather, snow on the weekend, not during the week; Now I don’t get a snow-day, thanks a lot.

To brighten up this cold weekend, I decided to head in a lemony direction!

I’ve already confessed my obsession with lemon, it must be the sweet and sour aspect that has me hooked. I find my satisfaction in making lemon muffins. However, making the most lemon filled muffin you can, I’ve found, is not an easy feat! I’ve tried loads of different things: extra lemon icing, more lemon zest, lemon extract, lemon curd, but it’s never quite enough (I have learned though that extra lemon icing is always a good thing!).

But I think I’ve finally found the answer: candied lemon zest*. I made it in small pieces, and rolled them in a mixture of fine sugar and citric acid (for extra zing), then stirred them into the batter. They dispersed throughout the muffin perfectly giving little bursts of flavour in every bite! The great thing is that once you’ve made a batch of it, you can keep it in a sealed container for your next batch of muffins, without having to make it again.

Plus it makes these muffins look so pretty.

The muffin batter is a really simple recipe. It can be made super easily in a food processor by literally throwing all the ingredients in and blending together, so it comes together in a mater of minutes. I added a little bit of oat bran too, to get some fibre and texture in. I find it nicer to use than wholemeal flour because the oat bran is pretty much visually undetectable, so the muffins keep their bright colour. I also used lemon juice, zest and extract for a good boost of flavour.

The last steps to these perfect lemon muffins are: make sure you drizzle on plenty of lemon icing, then sprinkle on some candied lemon zest.


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Cinnamon Jam Bran Muffins

Ha, I love saying that.

Jam Bran

It’s a pretty satisfying thing to say, as are these muffins to eat. They’re moist, light and slightly crumbly with a cakey texture. They’re topped with plenty of cinnamon and sugar and swirled through with the jam of your choice (raspberry for me, as per ushe)

They were going to actually just have raspberries in them, like the raspberry bran muffin I had at Bird Bath in New York. However after I realised that in fact the large bag in the freezer was actually full of loganberries, I was forced to use jam instead. I ended up liking my mistake, but if you want, you can replace the jam with about 1 cup of fresh fruit folded into the batter.


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Carrot Streusel Muffins

IMG_0598

Now that it’s getting colder here, it’s always a good idea to have muffins around, especially big, streusely, dome topped muffins. It’s also a great time for baking; Being able to stand by a warm oven and stuff warm food into your face, perfecto!

These are definitely autumnal muffins, with earthy flavors and colors from oat bran, cinnamon and carrots.
The raisins and streusel bring texture and sweetness to the muffins, creating a perfect balance of soft, moist and crunchy.
Of course, just like any carrot cake, you have many ways to make these muffins extra special. You don’t have to just stick with the obvious additions like pineapple, coconut or pecans; Experiment with different spices, dried fruits, zests and glazes. Go wild!

Double Chocolate and Peanut Butter Muffins (with DIY pb chips)

School has both upsides and down sides. You get a cold within the first week of going back, just in time for the weekend, ruining your plans. But that means, you now have time to make you some good old comfort food!

Comfort food has to be one of the best things ever when you’re ill.

For me, double chocolate muffins are it, you always know they’ll taste good no matter what and you can always seem to find somewhere that sells them. The trouble is though, those muffins they sell are huge. It’s not like I can’t finish that muffin, no way, I can and will eat that muffin in 5 minutes. But I don’t think that muffin is worth more than a meal’s GDA. So what else can I do but make the muffins myself?

175 calories each? you could eat more than 3 of these instead of one of those ones from Starbucks! You don’t even need an excuse, just make the muffins.

Mini Muffin :)

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