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Muffins in MSP

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Lately I've been having intense cravings for a good muffin. Not a homemade muffin, but a completely obnoxious, oversized muffin where the muffin top is baked until nicely crunchy on the outside while the inside is soft. I hate to say it but Dunkin Donuts muffins are a great example. Blueberry or even chocolate chip would be really great.

I've never explicitly noticed which bakeries around the Twin Cities sell muffins, so I'm lost as to where to start. I did get a lemon poppy seed muffin at Dunn Bros last week and it didn't meet these standards at all.

Any ideas? Do our typical cupcake shops also sell muffins? Minneapolis-based muffins preferred.

(Muffin is an incredibly funny word when you type it 10 times :)

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  1. (donning protective gear and preparing for a character walloping)

    Perkins actually does an honest-to-goodness, gigantic muffin. No exotic, organic, locally-sourced, macrobiotic, vegan, gluten-free, free-range, grass-fed, soy, blah, blah, blah ingredients but they're big, warm and, as you say, nicely crunchy and soft. I have to give credit where credit is due. They make them throughout the day and night (at least the Apple Valley and Edina locations do) -- at 8 a.m. or midnight, you'll get ones relatively fresh out of the oven.

    That said, muffins are a food (like corned beef hash and a lot of other breakfast items) where I have equal appreciation for low-grade, mass produced, packaged stuff and good quality, scratch-made, "artisan" (or whatever). They're two different foods, in my estimation.

    When I'm seeking small-batch, more "artisan" muffins, I head to the bakery section of my local co-op, but it's on the Apple Valley/Burnsville border (Valley Natural Foods). If you're ever down that way in the morning, it is worth a stop. Perhaps the city co-ops have similar offerings.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MSPD

      I'll back you up on the Perkins muffins. They were the first thing I thought of when I read this post. I can't really say that I've ever really ordered a muffin somewhere else. Scones at Cupcake (on Univ by KSTP) fill the same role as a muffin but that's not a muffin.

      Muffin is a funny word no matter how many times you type it.

    2. may day cafe had really good muffins when i lived around the corner. they were fresh & lovely!

      1. A couple Lunds locations (but strangely never Byerlys) seem to have muffins that fit your description. The overall size doesn't matchup to Perkins, but they usually have an overflowing crunchy top and a small stump. Too bad that Top of the Muffin to You idea from Seinfeld never took off

        1 Reply
        1. re: mplsmike

          It was just too hard to get rid of the stumps.

        2. Kowalski's has a huge cabinet full of oversized funky muffins.. at least I can vouch for the one on Lyndale & 54th. I'd say that one has maybe 12 kinds every day from standard to unique (always a fun green pistachio)-- pretty impressive. Their main flash intro on their website http://www.kowalskis.com/ shows some examples. =)

          1. Thanks everyone! 54th and Lyndale is our regular Kowalski's. I forgot that they have those plump looking muffins there. There's also that Perkins on Nicollet (I think), so maybe we'll hit there too soon.

            1. Both Lucia's and Yum have nice buttery muffins. And on the uber large obnoxious side, Costco has good muffiins but you have to buy 12 at a time!

              1. Don't laugh at me when I say this: I think the Holiday convenience stores have really good muffins. They're from the Lund's/Byerly's bakeries and are nice and soft with yummy crunchy tops made even crunchier with caster sugar. When they're nice and fresh, they're a real treat. The blueberry ones are my favorites but my coworkers swoon over the cranberry orange.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Dasha

                  Whoops, I meant sanding sugar, not caster sugar. You know, the sugar that stays crunchy and crystallized even after being sprinkled on a hot muffin or a cookie.

                  1. re: Dasha

                    Oh, I love muffins that have sugar sprinkled on top!

                    Last night I picked up a Kowalski's chocolate chocolate chip muffin. I feared it would be too sweet but it actually wasn't very sweet at all. The top was somewhat crunchy but it didn't have enough crunchy outside versus soft inside distinction for my taste.

                    Off to try the other options!