Cheddar Mmmuffins – Dinner With Julie


This was the trickiest of the lot, but perhaps the most satisfying to crack. The cheddar Mmmuffins had a slightly sweet, cakey texture, and were brilliant orange. My initial tests were tasty but missing the mark… it wasn’t until a CBC listener messaged me with a tip: back in the eighties, working at a different chain eatery, she used powdered cheddar when making the muffins. I added about half a pack of the cheese mix from a box of KD and voilà—extra cheesiness, but also that intense orange colour that acts as a visual cue, making them taste even cheesier. You could, of course, use extra-old white cheddar here—and you could omit the powdered cheese… just expect them to look a bit different.


By the way, I took this photo before discovering that by not using paper liners at all, I can get a more dramatic spread on the muffin tops, in keeping with the actual Mmmuffins, which were normal-sized on the bottom, with massive tops that grew into each other and wound up being kind of square. You’ll see the difference in the chocolate chip and butter pecan mmmuffins below – not the best photo (it was dark, and I whisked these away to the crew at CBC) but you can see the difference! (And the batter was baked right away, it didn’t sit to rise for a bit.)

Yields10 Servings

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2-1 packet mac & cheese seasoning mix (or about 3 Tbsp—optional)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup grated aged cheddar or Gouda, plus extra for sprinkling on top

1 1/2 cups buttermilk or thinned sour cream or yogurt (not low fat!)

1/3 cup melted butter or canola or other vegetable oil (or a combo)

1 large egg

1

Preheat the oven to 350F.

2

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, powdered cheese mix, baking soda and salt. Add the grated cheese and toss to combine. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter or oil and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula just until combined.

3

Divide the batter between greased or paper-lined muffin tins, filling them to heaping. (If you want larger tops that spread into each other, skip the paper liners and just spray the pan instead.)

4

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden, domed and springy to the touch. Makes about 8-10 mmmuffins.

Ingredients

 2 cups all-purpose flour

 1/4 cup sugar

 1/2-1 packet mac & cheese seasoning mix (or about 3 Tbsp—optional)

 1 tsp baking soda

 1/2 tsp garlic powder

 1/2 tsp salt

 1 cup grated aged cheddar or Gouda, plus extra for sprinkling on top

 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or thinned sour cream or yogurt (not low fat!)

 1/3 cup melted butter or canola or other vegetable oil (or a combo)

 1 large egg

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 350F.

2

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, powdered cheese mix, baking soda and salt. Add the grated cheese and toss to combine. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter or oil and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula just until combined.

3

Divide the batter between greased or paper-lined muffin tins, filling them to heaping. (If you want larger tops that spread into each other, skip the paper liners and just spray the pan instead.)

4

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden, domed and springy to the touch. Makes about 8-10 mmmuffins.



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