Serious Eats: Sweets
Wake and Bake: Lemon Olive Oil Muffins
Look. I'm all for eating cake at breakfast, but sometimes I wonder if people don't know (or maybe don't want to know) that there is a difference between a cupcake and a muffin. I bought a muffin the other day and I swear, it was so full of oil I should have organized a group to play an indoor game of greasy watermelon scramble.
For me, it's not even necessarily about size—I'll easily eat half a large muffin if I'm feeling full, or two normal sized muffins if I'm feeling hungry—but about taste and texture. My ideal muffin tastes of its ingredients, not of sugar. And like a plain loaf of good bread, texture is half the experience. For me, the right texture for a muffin is moist and soft with a semi-dense crumb.
Yes, I might get kicked off the internet for saying this, but I like muffin stumps. If I had been on Seinfeld, I totally would have accepted that bag of muffin stumps from Elaine. Who wants dry-cap overhang? I'm looking for a holistic muffin-eating experience.
That's why I like these muffins, anyway. They taste of olive oil (so use a fruity one) and a bit of perky lemon. But they're subtle; they could easily be a non-competing vehicle for marmalade or jam. The texture is equally important and it hits the mark. The secret to the uniform moisture and pillowy crumb is Greek yogurt. There's not a particularly large cap, but there's no top-stump inequality, either.