Last week I started a project Muffin Monday. Yesterday was Presidents Day and I took Monday off. But, I still made muffins. These are the best muffins ever, according to my wife. Suzi is not a pastry person, a morning muffin or biscuit person. Bagel? Sure! But muffins? Uh, no.

We were driving back to Manhattan from Upstate this morning and she unwrapped one of the leftover muffins. Yes, they last a few days.

“Golly, this is so good,” she smiled.

Very good. Very tender. Very vanilla-y.

Favorite Vanilla Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned in and leveled

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly firm

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

½ cup sour cream

3 to 4 teaspoons sparkling sugar



Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 37S°F. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and mix on medium speed until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute.

Add the granulated sugar in four additions and mix for 1 minute longer. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, and mix for another minute.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream, dividing the dry ingredients into two parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until blended after each addition.

Portion the batter into the prepared pan using a no. 16 ice cream scoop (¼ cup capacity). Sprinkle the top of each muffin with about ¼ teaspoon of the sparkling sugar.

Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and the tops are springy to the touch. To ensure even baking, toward the end of baking time, rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool.

Source: Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More by Carole Walter [Potter, 2007]


Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/50th second at ISO‑1000