Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

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George Hirsch Muffin Mondays

Would you like a bite of old-fashioned-style cake that is equally as good for a morning coffee break, mid-day snack and even dessert? If so, then this is it. 

What I really like about this coffee cake recipe is it isn't overly sweet. I created this recipe using all purpose flour, not cake flour, which makes a denser crumb with nice texture. The dairy mix of sour cream, yogurt, and milk is a harmonious trifecta in achieving a light and flavorful addition to every slice. Use good fresh eggs + butter and you'll have a hit. 

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

 chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

Makes about 18 muffins

For the Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

6 Tablespoons sweet butter, softened

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Place the butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl and crumble together with your fingers until it forms a crumb mixture. Add in the nuts. Reserve and mix muffin batter.

For the Cake:

1/2 cup sweet butter, one stick softened 

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt

1/4 cup 2% milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated orange rind

Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (175 degrees C). Note: If using a dark colored muffin pan, reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Dark colored pans absorb more heat while baking in the oven and become hotter and carry heat faster than light colored pans. 

Cream together the butter, sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Mix in eggs, vanilla and orange zest, one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl again.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, yogurt and milk together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately in three stages with the sour cream, yogurt, and milk mixture; stirring and scraping the bowl with spatula after each addition. Mix until just blended. Do not over mix.

Add half the batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with half the topping mixture. With the back of butter knife swirl the batter slightly to mix the crumb mixture slightly into the bottom of muffin cups. 3/4 filled. Add remaining batter, then the crumb topping and bake.

Bake muffins in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the muffins tests done. Cool for 15-20 minutes, and then remove muffins from pan. 

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Easter Muffin

The Blueberry Muffin is the most popular muffin; and with Easter this weekend my Blueberry Nut Muffins are ideal to serve for breakfast or include in your Easter Brunch. Make-n-bake in under an hour; double the recipe and bake a dozen for friends or take to the office. 

No sweat if fresh blueberries are in season in your neighborhood; a good quality frozen berry will do just fine.

Tip: Stock up your freezer with summer blueberries for recipes just like this. Just store whole fresh berries in a sealed plastic storage bags for up to six months. 

Tip: Did you know? Tossing blueberries with flour before adding them to the batter will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin during baking.

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Blueberry Nut Muffins

Recipe by George Hirsch | Makes 10-12 muffins

For the topping:

1/3 cup lite brown sugar

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons nuts, walnuts or pecans, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

1 Tablespoon sweet butter

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nuts. Blend butter in with a fork until mixture is crumb like.

For the muffin mix:

1/2 cup sweet butter, room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon flour for coating blueberries, plus greasing muffin cups

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup pure cane granulated sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/2 cup milk

Grease a regular size 12-cup muffin pan with butter and dust with flour, banging out excess flour; or use muffin cups liners.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. 

In a separate bowl use a mixer to cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and orange zest to beaten eggs, then add eggs one at a time, mixing until eggs are absorbed. 

With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and milk in three stages, mixing until all are incorporated.  Do not over mix. 

Toss blueberries in a fine strainer with about one Tablespoon of flour to lightly coat. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries. With an ice cream scoop or large spoon, place batter into muffin cups filling each cup to three quarters full. Add remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries on top of the muffins and divide crumb topping over muffins.  

Bake about 25-30 minutes, until muffins are golden brown. Check muffins half way through and rotate if oven temperature is uneven. Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin and it should come out clean; or when touched lightly the muffin should have a slight resistance to finger pressure.  

Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from pan.

Eighteen Gallon Muffin

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By my standards, this is the number one comfort dessert. This recipe is so good that I adapted it down from my recipe that served much larger portions—I used at a hotel where we served about 25,000 meals daily. The original recipe called for eighteen gallons of milk. It should be no surprise that my original bread pudding recipe served about 1000 people a day. 

TIP: I like to use day-old French bread in my bread pudding recipe because it has more flavor than the gummy plain white kind. Cinnamon-raison bead, croissants, sweat rolls, brioche, challah, and panettone can also be substituted or mixed in combination for part of the bread. Puree some seasonal berries for a sauce or serve with a vanilla sauce.

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Apple-Raisin Bread Pudding Muffins

Makes 10-12 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

2 Granny Smith or baking apples, peel, cored and chopped small

3-4 cups dry French Bread, cubed small

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped small

1/2 cup raisins, *plumped 

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

4 cups milk, or use half milk and half & half 

8 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup pure cane sugar, sugar can be slightly reduced if using sweet breads

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 Teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons fresh grated orange zest

In a small saute pan saute apples in 2 Tablespoons butter to slightly soften, remove and cool. 

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest and nutmeg, and beat with a whisk until well blended. Slowly pour over the bread mixture. Poke the bread so that it’s completely covered with the milk mixture and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Add raisins and 1/2 of the cooled sautéed apple.  

Grease a regular size 12-cup muffin pan with butter, or use muffin cups liners, or individual ramekins.

Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, place bread pudding batter into muffin cups filling each cup to three quarters full. Add remaining apples on top of batter. 

Place a pan larger than the muffin pan in preheated oven and place the pan holding the bread pudding inside. Immediately fil the outer pan with enough hot water so that it comes up one inch on the sides of the muffin pan. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the water bath, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for 10-15 additional minutes. Remove the bread-pudding muffins and allow to set for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. 

Serve Apple-Raisin Bread Pudding Muffins warm or cold with warm fruit or vanilla sauce.

*To plump dried raisins add 2 tablespoons of water or orange juice and heat in microwave for 30 seconds; drain orange juice back into pre measured 1/3 cup orange juice. 

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Summer Muffins

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Summer and muffins seem to go hand and hand; especially since blueberries are so plentiful right now and muffins bake fairly quickly with not much prep.

Tip: Did you know? Tossing blueberries with flour before adding them to the batter will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin during baking. 

banana-nut-muf.jpg

Blueberry Nut Muffins

Makes 10-12 muffins

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

For the topping:

1/3 cup lite brown sugar

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons nuts, walnuts or pecans, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

1 Tablespoon sweet butter

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nuts. Blend butter in with a fork until mixture is crumb like.

For the muffin mix:

1/2 cup sweet butter, room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon flour for coating blueberries, plus greasing muffin cups

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup pure cane granulated sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/2 cup milk

Grease a regular size 12-cup muffin pan with butter and dust with flour, banging out excess flour; or use muffin cups liners.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. 

In a separate bowl use a mixer to cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and orange zest to beaten eggs, then add eggs one at a time, mixing until eggs are absorbed. 

With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and milk in three stages, mixing until all are incorporated.  Do not over mix. 

Toss blueberries in a fine strainer with about one Tablespoon of flour to lightly coat. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries. With an ice cream scoop or large spoon, place batter into muffin cups filling each cup to three quarters full. Add remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries on top of the muffins and divide crumb topping over muffins. 

Bake about 25-30 minutes, until muffins are golden brown. Check muffins half way through and rotate if oven temperature is uneven. Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin and it should come out clean; or when touched lightly the muffin should have a slight resistance to finger pressure.  

Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from pan.

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