It isn’t that I don’t have a sweet tooth. I do; just not all the time. I had a tiny rant a while ago about ubiquitous banana-berry smoothies (January 13 post: Luck Times 3). I mean, enough already. Give me a great, big cookie with tea in the afternoon, and I’m there. But I can rarely stand the thought of starting the morning with anything excessively sweet.
As go smoothies in my book, so go muffins. I’ve made thousands of them fruity; chocolate-y; cheesecake-y; seeds of this, that, and the other, and if I never eat another one I’ll be a happy woman. But a savory muffin will happily greet a plate of tender scrambled eggs in the morning. Perch it on the edge a big salad for lunch, or a beautiful bowl of soup for dinner. Now we have something to talk about.
For these, I started with my basic muffin recipe:
- I eliminated the sugar and substituted a small amount of honey to balance the savory flavors and to ensure good browning in the oven
- I exchanged the butter for corn oil,
- and the buttermilk/sour cream for cottage cheese
- I added up the total ounces of oil and cottage, and balanced them a bit higher in favor of the cottage cheese
- I used 4% cottage cheese because (a) it actually tastes like something, and (b) it actually tastes like something. Seriously, I told myself that if I was going to not only eliminate the butter, but also reduce the amount of corn oil compared to the original amount of butter, I could afford to use real cottage cheese. Besides, it actually tastes like something.
- I added some corn and scallions for interesting texture and flavor. Use your favorite combination; just please be sure to let us all know how you tweak it up.
- I live in Montana, so fresh corn season here is mercilessly short. However, during the off season, I always have a bag or two of it frozen so I can add it to all the things I like to add it to. To thaw, measure out your half cup, pour into a small bowl, and fill with cold water. It will be thawed and ready to drain and add to the batter by the time you have everything else scaled.
Makes 12 muffins
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces corn oil
2 ounces honey
6 large eggs
8 ounces cottage cheese
1/2 cup corn (frozen, thawed)
4 scallions, trimmed, 1/4 ” dice
A few grinds of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pan spray the cups and rims of a 12-cup muffin pan. When the muffins rise, you don’t want them to stick to the rims. Alternatively, use paper cup liners. I just don’t like the way they can stick to the muffins.
- Set sieve over a medium-sized mixing bowl. Measure into it all the dry ingredients. Sift them together into the bowl.
- Measure the corn oil using a liquid measure. Add the 2 ounces of honey in with it. This will make the honey much easier to scrape out. Add to the bowl.
- Add the eggs, cottage cheese, and scallions, and pepper.
- Mix with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon just until all dry ingredients are hydrated and the eggs are incorporated. Over-mixing will cause the muffins to “peak” (literally raise up to a practically pointed peak), and be tough.
- I used a #8 ice cream scoop (also called a disher) to fill the cups. Scoop up a generous amount to drop into each one. If you have any batter left over at the end, divide it among the existing muffins.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. A paring knife inserted into the center should emerge clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool until they can be handled, but certainly serve warm!