The heat level went down enough yesterday that we decided to make some of Chef Earl's Muffins. Chef Earl is Earl Johnson, who was the subject of a favourite Canadian Living article which also featured Potage Paysanne, a soup we try to make at least once a year just because it's so much better than the ingredients make it sound (turnip, leeks, parsnips--shudder). The story of how he won over the high school students in Winnipeg also made it into Reader's Digest.
His muffin recipes are a bit fancier and sweeter than my usual throw-it-in-the-bowl formula, but once in awhile--like the soup--they're fun to make. The recipes for Streusel Apple Raisin Muffins and Black Bottom Muffins made 24 large muffins and 24 half-size muffins, respectively. I found it was just as easy to get all the dry ingredients mixed for both (put the 2 cups flour for one in one large bowl, then the 1 1/2 cups flour for the other in another bowl, and so on), mix up the wet ingredients for both, and then finish putting both recipes together and bake them at the same time. If you have an extra willing pair of hands around, it helps too. (Ponytails put the Streusel muffins together.)
Note on the Black Bottom Muffins: they call for cream cheese, but I've substituted both sour cream and drained (thick) plain yogurt, and both work fine. They do tend to get sticky if they sit around, so you would probably want to keep them refrigerated or frozen.
Especially if it's the middle of August.
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