Virginian-Pilot, October 2012

“Ngggnnnkkhhshdshs.”  That’s what I say when I put these in my mouth.  My vocal cords no speaka da English in the face of this wondrousness.

What do you do when you are hankering for blueberry muffins but don’t have a muffin pan handy?  Or maybe you just don’t feel like cranking up the oven on a hot summer day.  During a recent vacation (sans muffin pan), I discovered that you cook them in a skillet, using the muffin batter the same as you would pancake batter.  And the results are outstanding.  Why not just make blueberry pancakes?  Consider the differences between pancake and muffin batters.  Though recipes will vary, most pancake and muffin recipes call for equal amounts of flour and eggs.  But while pancakes call or more liquid, muffins get more sugar, fat, and baking powder.  That’s why muffins are dense and cake-like, while pancakes are light and fluffy.  So while muffin batter cooked in a skillet may resemble a pancake, the taste is all muffin.  I even top the muffins with a blend of cinnamon-sugar (just as you would a muffin); this caramelizes beautifully when you flip them.  And while muffins can take half an hour to bake, these pancake-style muffins cook up in just minutes.

— J.M. Hirsch, The Associated Press

Serves:  4

 

Ingredients

 

For the muffins:

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

zest of 1 lemon

1 cup milk

1 egg

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup fresh blueberries

 

For the topping:

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

 

Procedure

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest.
  2. In a separate bowl or 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg, oil, and vanilla.  Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, then stir just until a batter forms.  Gently stir in the blueberries.  Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium.  Coat the skillet with cooking spray, reduce heat to low, then ladle batter into the skillet, using about ¼ to 1/3 cup per muffin.  Do not crowd the pan, as the muffins will spread.  Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a bit of the topping.
  5. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until risen and browned on the bottom.  Use a spatula to flip and cook for 2 to 4 minutes more.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter.