Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Giving Baked Goods as Gifts and Blueberry Muffins

Giving home baked goods is a wonderful way to reach out to others. I love cooking and baking so this is a natural way for me to give. You could bring a jar of chicken soup and homemade bread to a friend who is sick, or a basket of muffins or a quick bread to a family member or friend who is celebrating a birthday or the birth of a child. A basket is a great way to give baked goods because it is more appealing, and gives them something to keep after the food is long gone. This particular basket of blueberry muffins was for a housewarming gift.I stock up on these Nantucket Baskets whenever I go to the Christmas Tree Shop. They are affordable and come in all different sizes. I have given away dozens and dozens of muffins in these baskets. Put your muffins in a clear bag (I use these bread bags from King Arthur Flour) and tie the top with a pretty ribbon. You can attach a little tag to the ribbon that says "Blueberry Muffins." I normally do but was running short on time when I did this one.
And in case you were wondering, here is a great muffin recipe from The Joy of Cooking, a staple cookbook for every home cook in my opinion, and I have A LOT of cookbooks. I used the Basic Muffin Recipe and added blueberries.

Basic Muffin Recipe with Blueberries

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk or cream
2/3 cup sugar
4 – 8 tbsp (1/2 – 1 stick) warm melted unsalted butter*
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups of blueberries, fresh or frozen
cinnamon & sugar, for sprinkling

Directions:
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt thoroughly in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients, minus the blueberries. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Lightly dust the blueberries with flour and add to mixture. Do not over mix; the batter should not be smooth. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and sprinkle tops with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 400°F until a toothpick inserted in 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, 15-18 minutes. Let cool for 2 – 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack. Serve as soon as possible, preferably within a few hours of baking.

*The amount of butter depends on when the muffins will be consumed: if they are to be consumed immediately, use 4 tablespoons; if they are being made hours/days ahead, use 6 – 8 tablespoons.

2 comments:

  1. It's funny you mentioned where you got the basket because I'd been wanting to ask you. I love the one my burp cloths came in. By the way, you are amazing. I wish I had half your talent!

    ReplyDelete
  2. love getting homemade gifts from you! I think I've finally figured out how to sign in and post!

    ReplyDelete

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