Since 1926, the Agricultural Review has been a free newspaper published by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For many years, The Tar Heel Kitchen was a featured column written by the department’s marketing home economist. These recipes tended to be seasonal with just a handful of ingredients. We thought these recipes needed to be shared in a new format. The Tar Heel Kitchen post will unearth a few of these timeless recipes each month. This week we are looking back at the February 1993 issue and a quick and easy recipe for cheese muffins.
“Have you made any muffins lately?” asked Barbara “Babs” Wilkinson, former NCDA home economist. “They’re one of the easiest breads to bake. They’re also very popular because of the wide variety of recipes to chose from.” Wilkinson offers to following advice to help you become a muffin-making master.
- Test your baking powder if it’s been sitting on the shelf a while. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1/3 cup warm water. If the mixture fizzes, the baking powder is still active.
- When mixing your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, the dry ingredients should be moistened slightly. Batter should be lumpy, not smooth. Over-mixing batter causes gluten to develop in the flour and the muffins will be tough.
- Line muffin pans with paper liners, spray with a vegetable cooking spray, or grease with a crumpled paper towel dipped in shortening. Don’t grease any cups that will not be filled because the grease will burn. Instead, put a couple of drops of water into unfilled cups to protect the pan and keep the muffins moist.
- Fill cups no more than three-fourths full.
- To keep keep fresh-baked muffins warm until ready to serve, tip each muffin away from the hot metal and then leave the pan in a warm oven with the heat turned off.
The recipe below is for a savory muffin that would go well with soups, chili and was a perfect companion to the sausage stroganoff recipe. Add a little more red pepper if you like spicy. These biscuits can made in a bigger muffin pan as well.
Easy Cheese muffins
- 3 3/4 cups biscuit mix
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine egg and milk; add mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Spoon into greased miniature muffin pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Remove muffins from pans immediately; let cool slightly on wire racks. Yields 4 1/2 dozen.