Tomatoes in Muffins

I love making muffins. They're so forgiving. You start with a sweet base or a savory base and just add what you like---the only thing you need to remember is to keep the correct wet/dry balance...then you just lump them in the muffin tins and cook them for 20 or so minutes and there you have it. Pretty hard to miss your mark with simplicity like that.

The recipe that I usually use came originally from Joy of Cooking, but I've modified it slightly to suit my purposes. I made some delicious muffins this past weekend using some of our garden-grown tomatoes as add-ins (this of course adjusted my liquid amount a little bit, as they were rather juicy). The original recipe is great with any sort of savory seasonings. A regular of mine is cheddar cheese and chives, I've also made sun-dried tomato muffins a few times...whatever suits your fancy. (I'll include the changes to my usual recipe in blue--since I had to change the liquid amount a little bit for this particular variation.)

Tomato Muffins
I have super-large muffin tins that are about twice as big as regular ones--this recipe made two big tins and one my guess is that it would make about 30 regular-sized muffins.

7 cups flour
4 tbsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt (I usually use about half to three-quarters of this amount)
4 eggs
4 cups milk (this tomato recipe added liquid from the tomatoes, so I only used 3 and a half cups of milk)
12 tbsp melted butter (that's 1 and a half sticks)
several tbsp mixed italian seasoning (I didn't measure, I just sprinkled it in until I saw lots of green flecks in the flour mix...)
1 tsp oregano
1/3 cup grated romano cheese
(also a healthy dash of grated parmesan)
4 med-small tomatoes, diced -- and their juice (about a half cup of liquid)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix dry ingredients together (I rarely sift, but feel free if you prefer)--that's the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and any dry herbs/seasonings or cheese (in this case, add the orgeano, italian seasoning, and two types of cheese here).

Dry ingredients

Melt the butter over low heat, being careful not to cook it too l0ng or solids will develop. Break eggs into separate bowl (break the yolks) and combine them with the other wet ingredients---that's the butter, milk, and any wet flavorings (this is where I added the tomatoes).

Wet ingredients

Then, combine wet and dry ingredients (stir as little as possible as more stirring causes the muffins to be too glutinous..) It's supposed to be lumpy---just make sure you get any pockets of the dry ingredients or flour lumps out.

Combined wet and dry ingredients--note the jagged lumps.
(This dough is a little overly moist, but it came out great.

Fill well-greased muffin tins 3/4 full with batter (I don't use liners since I find that the muffins really rarely stick when you grease the tins well enough), and place in oven.

Muffins in the oven

Bake 20-30 minutes (at 20 minutes take them out and use a clean knife or toothpick to check for doneness...) They should only get very slightly brown on top---not very much at all. If they are starting to brown a lot they're probably done! (For these muffins, the recipe made two large tins and one regular. The regular-sized muffins --conincidentally on the baking stone that we left in the oven...oops... and one tin of large ones that were on the bottom rack, were done in 20 minutes. The other large tin on the bottom rack needed another 7 minutes.)

Here are the two sizes of muffin tin--on top is regular-sized, on the bottom are the huge ones. I love the huge muffin can you not like something that gives you more home-baked muffin goodness?


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