January 30, 2009

Two Spoonfuls: The Muffin Method

This week, I'm going to continue with Alton Brown's book, "I'm Just Here For More Food" by talking about The Muffin Method. Generally speaking, The Muffin Method is used for things like muffins, pancakes and quick breads.

Basically, the method is as follows:

- Sift together dry goods

- Combine all liquid ingredients (including sugars - because sugar dissolves so quickly, it's considered one of the "wet" ingredients)

- Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Do not overmix! Only mix the ingredients until they come together. There should be lumps at this point and they will bake out.

So, that's it. I had to give one of Alton's recipes a try, and I went with the least muffin-ey recipe in this section of the book. I've made "Chocolate Chip Cookie #10". Traditionally, cookies are made with the Creaming Method (we'll get to that in another post), but in this case, the butter is melted so the Muffin Method is used instead.

Technically, I'm not supposed to copy Alton's recipe out of the book, so I'll just tell you how it went.

Alton is a firm believer in using weight to measure ingredients, rather than volume. It's a much more accurate way to measure, especially with things like flour that can compact differently. I use my digital scale from when I was on Weight Watchers. It's great because you can set it back to zero after putting a container on it.

Another great tip I learned in this book is to use my food processor to sift the dry ingredients. This will aerate them and keep you from having to mess with those awful flour sifter thingies, eugh.

I used a small ice cream style scooper to dish out my dough. This seems to be a very standard method, but it's taken me ages to catch on. It'll make your life a lot easier if you do it this way rather than spooning the dough. What a mess. And, your cookies will all be the same size!! yay

I loved this recipe because the butter was melted. For some reason, creaming butter into a batter just makes me get all tense & nervous. I know, I'm weird that way. haha The final result was a really yummy cookie, and it was easy.


Now, I don't want to leave you empty handed, so here's where you can get Alton's other chocolate chip cookie recipes:

~ The Thin
~ The Chewy (This one uses the Muffin Method)
~ The Puffy

And if you'd like to see Alton's Good Eats episode where he makes all 3 of these recipes, click here for part 1 and here for part 2. Cool!
While we're on the subject of chocolate chip cookies, you might want to check out this article from the NY Times, it's a keeper.


I believe Jenn is searing this week, let's go see what she made...