Monday, January 19, 2009

More Muffins

Freshly baked banana nut muffins!

Well, true to my word, I baked another batch of my banana nut muffins the other night. You know, just to keep the house warm with the heat from the oven.

This batch of muffins was even more delicous than the last. I've been using more King Arthur brand flour in my baking lately, and I've been loving the great results. The texture of these muffins are really nice. Moist with great crumb, but not soggy. I used half King Arthur all purpose flour (white) and half King Arthur "white whole wheat" flour in these. I am very pleased with that combination. I try to add as much whole grain healthiness into my cooking and baking as I can.

Ready for the oven

I was also pleased to note on the King Arthur flour bag that their flour is milled from all US grown wheat. I like that. They just seem like a really good solid company. I will be using more of their flour in my baking and cooking from now on.

I was watching a Good Eats episode on TV the other night that had Alton Brown telling us all about making muffins. I recall he said we would get more volume out of our muffins if we cooled them upside down on a tea towel. So I tried it.

Muffins cooling

Not sure if I got more volume in my muffins, but it did work well for allowing them to cool nicely. I had them upside down for awhile on a clean tea towel placed over my cooling rack. The tea towel prevents the cooling rack from leaving marks on the muffin tops. It worked.

You will notice that I used paper baking cups to line my grandma's old muffin pan that I use. Keeps them from sticking, reduces clean up and gives them a nice wrapper when sharing with friends. I usually use the standard pastel paper cups that I find for sale in my grocery store. You know the ones, they come in pastel pink, yellow and blue. Well, about a week ago, I was in the baking supply aisle of our Whole Foods market, looking for something else, when I spied some new, more environmentally friendly baking cups.

Natural muffin cups

They are natural brown, made from unbleached paper and compostable. The cardboard box they are packaged in is made from 100% recycled paper. They cost a little more than the regular cups, but not much more.

What I liked best about their performance is that the muffin paper peels off so easily from the muffin, no sticking at all. And they look really nice on the muffins. A toasty brown color instead of the pastel colors. I think it enhances the rustic muffin look. Also I don't have to worry about who gets the pink one or the yellow one etc, because they are all brown... Ha! Yes, I need a life...

Anyway, more environmentally friendly muffin cup info can be found at the If You Care website. Apparently, they make coffee filters and other paper products too. Not a great website, but it does give more info.

Happy winter baking to you all!

© Copyright 2009 Mountain Harvest Basket


CaliforniaGrammy said...

Mmmmmmmmm . . . makes me want to go right out and get me some bananas. We, too, love King Arthur products. I've never bought, however, their white whole wheat flour, didn't even know such a thing existed! So thanks for that info, and thanks also for those cute brown paper muffin pan liners. I love to use anything environmentally friendly. I'll be putting that on my "Fresno Shopping List!" Now for Alton Brown's hint about cooling a muffin upside down bringing more volume to the muffin . . . hmmmmmm . . . not so sure about that one. But I'll give it a try.

The muffins look so tasty! They'd be good with a cup of tea right about now.

Hardware Bob said...

Nice looking muffins, so perfectly brown and plump looking, great photos.

The environmentally friendly paper baking cups is a fabulous idea, I am all for less cleanup and more indulging.

I see a lot of yummy muffins there, but not much sharing going on. I am muffin less, woe is me, what's a guy to do. ☺

frugalmom said...

Great looking muffins, again! I love the cup liners...I will have to look for those in the future. I normally use the pastel ones as well. And you say that they come away pretty clean from the actual muffin? Normally, I spray my liner with a cooking spray because they tend to cling to it...

Now the whole upside down thing? I would have thought that it would have flattened the tops somewhat.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I love the idea of compostable, bleach free coffee filters. Hmmm.

I can smell those delicious muffins all the way down here. Yummo!

I use King Arther flour, too. I've never been dissapointed in their flour. Makes everything turn out perfect. :)

By the way, I've got a little something for you over at my blog, Jen.


Farmer Jen said...

Hi CA Grammy,
I found the King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour at our local Raleys supermarket. I'd never heard of it before either, but now I am finding some recipes that actually call for it specifically. It's supposed to give the goodness of whole grain without making the baked goods dense or dry.

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the muffin compliments. I did share my muffins with both you and Jack, just not fast enough for you.

Hi Marcee,
These liners work very well and did not stick to my banana muffins at all. I never spray my muffin liners. If I don't use paper liners I just grease the muffin tin with a little butter or olive oil spread on with a bit of paper towel. These paper liners are easier and make clean up a breeze.

Hi Lisa,
Thank you for the award you had for me on your blog! You are sweet to pass that on.

I've never even thought of composting muffin liners in the past, but I don't know why not since I compost paper coffee filters all the time. We do all use the bioderadable brown paper filters for coffee though. No bleached ones. I don't like the chemicals in my compost pile.