21 January 2010

savory cheese and scallion muffins

savory muffins

Or, why I love Christopher Kimball.

See, I've caught episodes of America's Test Kitchen before on PBS, and I like how they try and find the simplest, best, and most reliant method of creating a recipe so that anyone is able to do it. For obvious reasons, that means whatever you make, if you follow the methods and recipe, will come out how it's supposed to -- or what I really mean, how it's supposed to look.

savory muffins

Part of why I like to bake is because I like creating things, and then I like eating the creations. But, I'm into aesthetics, so I want whatever I bake to look like I put in the effort. I know I'm not the only crazy person like this, and I really don't think it's all that crazy.

When these muffins came out, I just smiled. It's one of those simple pleasures.

These muffins are just great, a nice savory, cheesy flavor with a bite of scallion thrown in. I'd say the texture is between a spongier biscuit and a traditional muffin. The batter is quite thick, but it doesn't make up heavy. And don't be afraid of using all the batter in just 12 muffin tins because it's what gives the muffins their nicely domed crown.

Perfect with soup, perfect as a snack, or as part of lunch, and even better with half white whole wheat, which gives it a little nutritional boost that sticks with you longer.

Recipe after the jump.

savory cheese and scallion muffins
Recipe from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

Makes 12

Grating the Parmesan on the large holes of a box grater adds a nice texture to these muffins and helps prevent the cheese from burning; do not grate it fine or use pregrated Parmesan.

ingredients ~
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, or blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
2 scallions, sliced thin (I used about 4)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cups sour cream (I had none, so I briefly strained some yogurt -- use about 1/4 extra to compensate for the drained liquid, making sure to remeasure)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater (1/2 cup) (I omitted this because I had none)

directions ~
  1. Adjust and oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, and pepper together in a large bowl. Stir in the cheese and scallions, breaking up any clumps, until the cheese is coated with flour. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, sour cream, melted butter, and egg together until smooth. Gently fold the milk mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined (the batter will be heavy and thick).

  3. Using a greased 1/3-cup measure, portion the batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the tops of the muffins. Bake until golden and brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

  4. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.



  1. This recipe and the way it's prepared reminded me of a recipe from Paula Deen, Bubba's Beer Biscuits. Paula's recipe is sweeter, but both recipes look easy to make. Normally, making biscuits can be messy.


  2. I will no longer post in anonymity!

  3. I can't see the pictures, but I'm sure it's my PC. They sound delicious!

    I'm going to go follow you on twitter now...


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