Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Way Delicious Wednesdays - Mimi's Muffins

This post is for Stephanie and Lindsay Tubbs - two darling young ladies our family loves. Their mom Luci told me that her daughters like to get recipes off my blog for their personal cookbooks. Since they dined at Mimi's Cafe this week, and Luci reminded me how amazing their bran muffins are, I thought I'd post a copycat recipe for that and another one of Mimi's muffin recipes.

First of all, I have to say- I just love muffins. I bake them often, and like to freeze them invidually wrapped to bring to church on Sunday mornings. (It helps me to not eat donuts - seriously.)

Muffins are easy and fast to make, are so inexpensive, and there are so many variations. Everyone loves them; it is like having your own personal mini cake. Nothing says "love" like a nice warm basket full of muffins.

The first recipe is for Buttermilk Spice muffins. The spices in these muffins are perfect with fall right around the corner. This recipe incorporates buttermilk, which I think is a dandy baking ingredient, but if you don't have any did you know that you can use regular milk - just add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice for each cup of milk and let it sit about 15 minutes before using. But do try to get the real buttermilk. Or rather, since no markets sell real buttermilk anymore, get the "cultured" buttermilk. I'm not exactly sure what that is... (It's about as mysterious as that "fat free" half and half.) All I can say is the texture of the muffins will be much nicer with it.

If you're not sure what to do with the leftover buttermilk, consider offering one of your kids a drink- it's good entertainment (Just kidding). But, seriously, you could stir some into some mayo, add a clove of minced garlic, some onion powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper, and WOW everyone with homemade buttermilk Ranch dressing. It works pretty good at my house.

The second recipe is for Mimi's Bran Muffins. Have you ever had one of these delightful creatures? You know, the type that are served upside down and have that sticky bun kind of topping? You know, the ones that you fool yourself into thinking are healthy because they contain the word "bran" in the title? (and you KNOW they are so sinful). I have made my share of bran muffins, but I have never found a recipe that came even remotely close to the kind Mimi's serves. Until today. Let me just say: MY LIFE IS CHANGED! I have to admit, this recipe was a little strange, but it delivered big time. Just one bite and I fell madly in love with these muffins. Unfortunately, the love isn't mutual. The recipe I used posted the Nutrition Facts (such killjoy) and I discovered these lovely little muffins weigh in at 500 calories each! Oh well, like I say, exercise and eat well.

Mimi's Cafe Buttermilk Spice Muffins
Makes 1 dozen

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk, + 1 Tbsp. more

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter together with an electric mixer. When they are thoroughly combined, add the eggs and beat one more minute.

Sift the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon into a separate bowl.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, with the mixer on low speed.

Divide the batter evenly between 12 greased muffin cups. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and distribute the topping evenly over all the muffins.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Do not overbake!

Love, love, love.

Mimi's Cafe Bran Muffins
Makes 1 dozen

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water

1 1/2 cups dates, or raisins, pureed in food processor (measure before processing)
(I actually used craisins)
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used extra light olive oil)
1 1/2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For the glaze:
Cream butter with sugars until fluffy in electric mixer. Beat in honey and water. Using a brush, coat bottom of 12 greased muffin tins with glaze, spreading it up the sides as well.

For the muffins:
Mix fruit, honey and oil until smooth in electric mixer. Beat in eggs, then buttermilk and bran. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add to mixture and beat just till combined. Fill tins 3/4 full with batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Do not overbake! Cool 2 minutes, and then invert to cooling rack.

Lastly, a word on spices. Years ago, my dad turned me on to a wonderful online company called Penzey's. They sell the finest quality dried spices, herbs, and seasonings at reasonable prices. I think even with having to pay shipping I am spending less than buying these at the store. I really love all their different seasonings for meat, chicken and fish. And their Ceylon cinnamon will change your life.

To begin with, I bought their 2.4 oz. jar size of a given spice (as shown above), and now I just buy their economical ziploc refill bags. I recommend you request them to send you a catalog, which also contains recipes that go along with their products. You will be surprised how much better quality the herbs and spices are than the ones you find at the grocery store. And, how convenient is it to shop online? Gotta love that.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mrs. Harasick! We can't wait to make them! They look delicious!
Lindsay and Stephanie

Deidre Johnson said...

e looking up your recipes- each one I make is a hit!

Deidre Johnson said...

my previous comment should have read, I love looking up your recipes- each one is a hit! And the photos are always helpful and well taken, I might add :)

Mommy Roth said...

Can't wait to try these! My parents love to get Mimi's muffins when they visit. I found you through the Sanderson's blog. I am Kathy Guyles sister in law. I think I have met you a couple times at Grace.

Funny that you would tell about Penzy's because my Mom is a huge fan and I have mostly Penzy spices now. My family is spoiled too with all their amazing seasonings. Oh and great pictures too. More people try a recipe if there's a picture (at least I do=)!
Elizabeth Roth

The Mom said...

Mrs. Harasick - Thank you for the comment you left on my blog. Each time that I hear of a woman who has been sick through her pregnancies I'm encouraged to see that one can survive :o) But, most of all I enjoy learning from the lessons that each of you learned. As you said, it IS so easy to forget that this is a blessing from the Lord, not just a huge trial. Because I am so home bound I find great encouragement in the words that people like you pass along to me through the internet. So, thank you so very much for taking the extra minute to remind and encourage. And the promise of your prayers is a huge encouragement to my weary heart as well. husband LOVES muffins. But, his favorite kind are the ones that are nice and moist on the inside, but have a sort of crunchy top. He likes to take the top off and dip it in his coffee, I think Starbucks has one that is like that. So, whenever he asks for muffins he asks if I can do "that topping", but I've never been able to figure it out. Do you know? I'm thinking that it probably just takes the right mixture of butter and sugar, kinda like a peach crisp topping...or something like that...?