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my muffin's suck-need recipe

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every time i try to make muffins they taste ok but not fabulous. i've followed various recipes and definitely aware of not over mixing or over baking etc. so technique wise i think i've perfected the muffin. it's just the taste. every time my berries taste bitter and the crumb tastes blah. the texture is great but that's it. why are the berries bitter?

does anyone have any good muffin recipes they can share? i enjoy blueberry and all berry muffins. i'd like to try a coffee cake or a strusel topped muffin as well. Thanks!!

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  1. My muffins are usually blah and hard as pucks, but I made cook's illustrated best bran muffins and had great results! I'm not sure if you like bran, but these were truly the best muffins I ever made. They were so moist and flavourful, which kind of suprised me because I thought the bran and whole wheat flour would make the muffin tough. They're made with raisins, but I'm sure you can always substitute blueberries.

    Better Bran Muffins

    The test kitchen prefers Kellogg's All-Bran Original cereal in this recipe. Dried cranberries or dried cherries may be substituted for raisins. Low-fat or nonfat yogurt can be substituted for whole milk yogurt, though the muffins will be slightly less flavorful.

    Makes 12 muffins
    1 cup raisins
    1 teaspoon water
    2 1/4 cups All-Bran Original cereal (5 ounces)
    1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (6 1/4 ounces)
    1/2 cup whole wheat flour (2 1/2 ounces),
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon table salt
    1 large egg
    1 large egg yolk
    2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (4 2/3 ounces) ; 1/3 yellow, 1/3 dark brown
    3 tablespoons mild molasses (or light) / 2 tablespoons
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), melted and cooled
    1 3/4 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

    1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray standard-sized muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine raisins and water in small microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife, and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Let stand, covered, until raisins are softened and plump, about 5 minutes. Transfer raisins to paper towel-lined plate to cool.
    2. Process half of bran cereal in food processor until finely ground, about 1 minute. Whisk flours, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to combine; set aside. Whisk egg and yolk together in medium bowl until well-combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add sugar, molasses, and vanilla; whisk until mixture is thick, about 30 seconds. Add melted butter and whisk to combine; add yogurt and whisk to combine. Stir in processed cereal and unprocessed cereal; let mixture sit until cereal is evenly moistened (there will still be some small lumps), about 5 minutes.
    3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently mix with rubber spatula until batter is combined and evenly moistened. Do not overmix. Gently fold raisins into batter. Using 1/3-cup measure or ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among muffin cups, dropping batter to form mounds. Do not level or flatten surfaces of mounds.
    4. Bake until muffins are dark golden and toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out with a few crumbs attached, 16 to 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cakesncookies

      this is the best muffin recipe i've ever tasted.

      1. re: cakesncookies

        is the original all bran the buds? or the flakes? I have a huge box of flakes I'd love to use up somehow.

        1. re: Calipoutine

          It's the twigs.

      2. If you have access to local in season berries they will require more sugar if you tend to otherwise use store bought IQF or commercial berries from Argentina. I would use a bit of honey or brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar if you already think your crumb is dull and uninteresting. I would not worry about the bit of extra liquid if you decide to augment the recipe with honey.

        I like nutmeg with muffins, as it adds depth, but it doesn't call attention to itself like cinnamon or allspice might. 1/4 tsp would be plenty if you are grating fresh nutmeg.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Kelli2006

          i use frozen berries. i do have seasonal berries but i find the frozen ones more economical. maybe i should toss them in sugar and a little flour? i usually only toss in flour. i take back the crumb thing. my crumb is ok, not great. the crust is too hard. i forgot nutmeg in my muffins this morning and i agree they make a difference for the better however, i did use brown sugar instead of white.

          i'm starting to think i need to use a recipe that has more fat in it. i try to use ones w/ little fat (like 1/4 c of oil) and i think that's where i go wrong.

          1. re: trolley

            You are correct that added oil will soften the crust, and you could probably add a additional tablespoon before you have to compensate with less water or milk.

            If they get overly brown, you can drop the oven 25 degrees and lengthen the time by 5-10 minutes. I would check for doneness at the normal time, and then check again every 5 minutes afterward.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              I used to look for those too, the recipes that use 1/4 cup of oil! Thats why I make the best bran muffins because 6 Tbsps isn't actually too much considering that it makes big muffins. I use a 1/4 cup scoop and made 18 so that would be like 1 tsp of butter per muffin

            2. re: trolley

              I used to look for recipes that have only 1/4 of oil too, but they always turned into hockey pucks. 6 tbsps of butter isn;t actually that much in the best bran muffins! It actually made more than 12 muffins, 18 i think so that would average to 1 tsp of butter per muffin.

          2. I've had very good results with these:

            http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Best-Eve...