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Cookbook Review of the Month - January 2007

This month's selection is The Ultimate Muffin Book.  What a great way to start off the New Year.  This book has a muffin reipe for everyone's taste, both savory and sweet.  In addition, at the end of each recipe, there are four to five ways to change that particular muffin by altering an ingredient or two, so you get many more recipes that just the original one.  I have used this book several times already and haven't been disappointed yet.  This is a great staplein a cookbook library, great to use when you need something for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or just because!


  • Acknowledgments
  • Intro
  • Making Muffins
  • Tips for Successful Muffins
  • A Word about Muffin Tins
  • A Guide to Some Ingredients
  • Muffin Recipes A to Z
  • Toppings
  • A List of Specialty Muffins
  • Source Guide
  • Index

Nothing smells better than something that's baking in your oven.  This book will defiately fill your kitchen with aroma therapy.  As you read through the book, which by the way is arranged in alphabetical order, you can practically taste the muffins from the recipes alone.  There are no complicated recipes, everything is easy to fix.  I think the most "exotic" ingredient was Mexican Chocolate.  But, have no fear, there is a source guide included.  I have tried the pumpkin muffins for Thanksgiving, and was very happy with the results, they were delicious.  The pizza muffins are baking in the oven as I write this, the aroma heavenly.  Whatever the occasion, you can find a muffin to fill your needs.  This is a great book to have handy, well priced, and very versatile.


Sample Recipe from the book:

It's very difficult to pick a muffin, but since the pizza muffins are baking away, and smell so good, I thought they would be my choice. Add a salad or a cup of soup, and you have a great lunch.

Pizza Muffins                                                                        



Non stick spray or paper muffin cups

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped

  • 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs,lightly beaten, at room temperature                                                 

  • One 8 ounce can tomato sauce

  • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (a little less than 4 ounces)

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  To prepare the muffin tins, spray the indentations and the rims around them with a nonstick spray or line the indentations with paper muffin cups. If using silicone muffin tins, spray as directed, then place them on a baking sheet.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then swirl in the oil.  Add the onions, green pepper, and mushrooms; cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until the mushrooms have given off their liquid and it has evaporated. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a large bowl; let cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder in a small bowl until well combined, set aside.

Stir the eggs, tomato sauce, cheese, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder and salt into the vegetables.  Then stir in the flour mixture until incorporated.

Fill the tins 3/4's full.  Use additional greased tins or individual greased ramekins for any leftover batter, or reserve batter for a second baking.  For best results, make sure vegetables are submerged in the batter, not sticking out of the top of the muffins.  Bake for 23 minutes or until the muffins have well rouded, lightly browned tops, and a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin comes out clean, provided vegetables don't gum it up.

Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Gently tip each muffin to one side to make sure it isn't stuck.  If one is, gently rock it back and forth to release it from the tin.  remove the muffins and cool for 5 more minutes on the rack before serving.  If storing or freezing the muffins, cool them completely before sealing in an airtight container or in freezer-safe plastic bags. The muffins will stay fesh for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to two months in the freezer.


Book Title:

The Ultimate Muffin Book

Authors: Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Category: Muffin Cookbook
ISBN: 0-06-009676-4
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Publisher address:

10 East 53rd Street,

New York, N.Y. 10022

Website or e-mail of publisher:
Published: 2004
Edition: First
Description: Softcover
Illustrated: none
Photographs: none except covers
Price: $16.95
Reviewed by: Elise Feiner
  December 18, 2006


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