My daughter loves to be in the kitchen and now wants to be more involved in cooking and baking. The city we moved from had a summer cooking camp where the kids would learn kitchen safety, food handling, cooking techniques, etc. Each week of the camp they would teach things like italian cooking, cooking with chocolate, baking, copycat recipes, etc. Sadly, we always had scheduling conflicts and couldn’t make it across town when they offered the classes, so I decided I would hold my own little camp at our house. Ever since then, every summer my daughter wants to do our own camp 😀 I love this chance to bond with her and teach her how to bake and cook.
I teach her not to just follow a recipe, but to understand why certain ingredients are added and the effects of techniques like stirring and whisking. I’m not sure who is more excited me or her 😀 I love the science of cooking and baking! This week we baked up some Snickerdoodle Muffins…
Muffins are a type of quick bread where the dry ingredients are mixed in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another bowl and then poured in to the dry ingredients. You don’t want to stir a muffin batter too much as it will cause the gluten to over-develop.
Eggs need to be beaten prior to adding to other wet ingredients to insure they blend well with other liquid ingredients. If eggs are not beaten, they can cause waxy areas in your muffin where the egg is concentrated.
Mixing is an extremely important aspect of muffin making. The extent to which you mix a muffin batter determines the characteristics of the muffin. It is best to not have big lumps in your batter. Lumps usually mean that the volume and texture of the muffin will be poor. This is because the leavening agents are not moistened enough to completely react and the gluten will not develop properly.
Stirring the batter activates gluten development. Gluten development is very important because it holds the muffin together. If you have a very crumbly muffin, you know right away your gluten did not properly develop. Too much stirring will cause the gluten to develop too much. You know you have over mixed a muffin batter when the batter is very smooth and flows off the spoon. A smooth muffin batter will produce a muffin that has a peak instead of a nice rounded top. Another sign that the batter has been over-mixed are tunnels in your muffin.
A muffin batter should be thick and sticky. Mixing should be done with a wooden spoon, and usually 25 strokes should produce a perfectly mixed muffin.
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cups.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour through salt together.
- In a medium bowl beat eggs. Whisk in buttermilk and melted butter.
- Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined, about 25 strokes.
- Scoop batter with a muffin scoop into paper cups. Bake until muffins are lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick in center, if it comes out clean they are done.
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- Mix sugar and cinnamon together in bowl. One at a time, brush the top of each muffin with melted butter, then roll the top in the cinnamon sugar.
My girl did a great job baking these Snickerdoodle Muffins. She mixed them perfectly and produced muffins that had nicely rounded tops 😀
I love muffins and I love snickerdoodles. Combined together…results in a delicious muffin that taste just like a snickerdoodle! We can’t get enough of these. They are great at breakfast with a cup of coffee. They also make a great dessert or snack 😀
Mc Williams, M. 2008. Foods: Experimental Perspectives. Muffins.