Northeast Times

Your secretary’s favorite muffins

There’s no bet­ter mo­tiv­a­tion on a Monday morn­ing than great food.

Ask any boss who doesn’t have one. I bet he will tell you that a good ad­min­is­trat­ive pro­fes­sion­al nowadays is hard to find. But so is a good muffin. Today is Ad­min­is­trat­ive Pro­fes­sion­als Day, a day set aside es­pe­cially to re­mem­ber your hard­work­ing as­sist­ant. Bake something spe­cial!

Since turn­about is fair play, boss, how about work­ing over­time on some homemade muffins. So after you take your pet pig to have his wings clipped, but be­fore hell freezes over, bake your sec­ret­ary a treat to en­joy at break­fast or dur­ing break time. Along with a fa­vor­ite cof­fee or tea, fresh-baked, homemade muffins are a de­li­cious way to start the day.

Every­one knows that ad­min­is­trat­ive pro­fes­sion­als love homemade muffins. They’re port­able – easy for the boss to carry. (It’s a Bring Your Muffins to Work Day). Muffins are di­vis­ible – a batch makes enough muffins to treat sev­er­al ad­min­is­trat­ive pro­fes­sion­als. But most sig­ni­fic­antly, they’re en­joy­ably ed­ible, if I don’t say so my­self, hav­ing been a muffin-eat­ing ad­min­is­trat­ive pro­fes­sion­al some years ago.

For your ad­min­is­trat­ive pro­fes­sion­al, only pro­fes­sion­al-grade muffins will do. The fol­low­ing help­ful hints are dir­ec­ted to any be­wildered boss who wants to bake muffins at home, but is afraid to try. 

To be­gin, al­ways pre­heat the oven. If you don’t use pa­per muffin liners, re­mem­ber to grease the muffin pan. Fill muffin pan about 2/3 to ¾ full with bat­ter. Mix dry in­gredi­ents thor­oughly, but after adding li­quids and fruit, stir to in­cor­por­ate just un­til blen­ded. Too much beat­ing will pro­duce a tough muffin. If you find that you have used all the bat­ter, and did not fill all slots, fill the empty cups 2/3 full with wa­ter so oven heat is evenly dis­trib­uted across the pan. Fi­nally, put the muffins in the cen­ter of the oven to bake.

The fol­low­ing re­cipes pro­duce break­fast muffins that will provide your ad­min­is­trat­ive pro­fes­sion­al with lots of en­ergy all through the morn­ing. Don’t be­lieve the ads. Amer­ica runs on homemade muffins!

STRAW­BERRY MUFFINS WITH TOP­PING

1½ cups flour

½ cup oat flour (grind oats in blender or pro­cessor)

1/3 cup sug­ar

1 Tb­sp. bak­ing powder

1 cup mashed or pur­eed straw­ber­ries

(2 cups fresh)

¼ cup plus 2 Tb­sp. or­ange juice

1 egg plus 1 egg white

Top­ping:

¼ cup but­ter, softened

¼ cup brown sug­ar, packed

¼ cup each oats and flour

1 tsp. cin­na­mon

- Mix all in­gredi­ents un­til crumbly.

- Pre­heat oven to 350 de­grees.

- Make top­ping and set aside.

- Com­bine the flours, sug­ar, and bak­ing powder, and stir to mix well.

- Add the straw­ber­ries, or­ange juice, egg, and egg white. Stir just un­til the dry in­gredi­ents are moistened.

- Coat muffin tins with Crisco, or spray them with cook­ing spray.

- Fill pans ¾ full with bat­ter.

- Sprinkle top­ping over the bat­ter.

Bak­ing time de­pends on size of muffin tins: 12 reg­u­lar muffins will bake about 15-20 minutes. Lar­ger muffins will bake longer. When a wooden tooth­pick in­ser­ted in the cen­ter of a muffin comes out clean, they’re done.

Best served cooled on day of bak­ing.            

Muffins freeze well.

BLUE­BERRY MUFFINS

2 cups flour

¾ cup sug­ar

1 Tb­sp. bak­ing powder

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. nut­meg

1½ cups blue­ber­ries (par­tially thaw, if frozen)

2 eggs

½ cup milk

½ cup but­ter, melted

Coarse sug­ar for top­ping

- Pre­heat oven to 400 de­grees.

- In a large bowl, mix flour, sug­ar, bak­ing powder, salt and nut­meg.

- Add blue­ber­ries. Stir to coat evenly.

- In a small bowl, beat eggs with fork. Add milk and but­ter and beat. Add li­quid mix­ture to flour and blue­ber­ries.

- Stir just un­til blen­ded.

- Fill greased or oil-sprayed muffin pans 2/3 full of bat­ter.

- Sprinkle tops with sug­ar.

- Bake 20-25 minutes or un­til tooth­pick in­ser­ted in cen­ter of muffin comes out clean.

Happy Ad­min­is­trat­ive Pro­fes­sion­als Day!

Eat well, live long, en­joy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats­cook­in­NEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053)

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