Cheese Muffins

I had two recipe ideas in mind to try this week – one was for mini victorian sponge cakes, the other was for these cheese muffins. I did a quick survey with some friends and co-workers to see what they thought sounded better. A resounding 100% voted in favour of the cheese muffins! Maybe the mini cakes will win out next week.

I found this recipe on Recipe Tin Eats. As usual, what appealed to me was how quick and easy the recipe looked, and that I had almost everything on hand to make them. In general, I’m all about simple and delicious! I like spending more time on recipes once in a while, but for day to day cooking and baking, I’m all about the fast and easy.

Start out by melting 3 tablespoons of butter in a small dish. Stir in 2 cloves of crushed or finely minced garlic.

bowl of melted garlic and butter

Brush the insides of a 12 hole muffin tin with about half of the garlic butter, making sure to get some little garlic pieces in the tin as well. The other half of the butter will go on top of the muffins.

muffin tin brushed with garlic and butter

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined.

Dry ingredients whisked together in a bowl

The recipe calls for 1 tbsp of fresh chopped parsley. I was able to joyously run outside to pick some from my little herb garden! I really love growing fresh herbs at home because it makes it so easy to cut and use just as much as you need. Whenever I buy herbs at the grocery store, I inevitably end up wasting some.

close up of a parsley plant growing in the garden

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together an egg, milk, sour cream,  vegetable oil, parsley and another clove of minced or crushed garlic.

egg, milk, parsley, sour cream, vegetable oil and garlic mixed together in a bowl

Add the wet ingredients to your bowl of dry ingredients and stir just a few times to loosely mix everything together. You want to avoid over mixing as much as possible.

mixing wet and dry ingredients together in a bowl

Next, add a big pile of grated cheese and stir just enough times to make sure everything is combined. The recipe recommends using a strong flavoured cheese (like an old cheddar), instead of something like mozzarella, which doesn’t have as powerful a flavour.

adding cheese and to the batter

The recipe says you can also add up 1 1/2 cups of extra mix-ins at the same time you add the cheese. This could be things like sun dried tomatoes, olives, spinach, mushrooms, or anything else your heart desires!

When I made these, I mixed in the cheese first, then scooped 1/3 of batter into the prepared muffin tin. I then added sun dried tomatoes to the leftover batter, and scooped another 1/3 into the tin. To the remaining dough I added chopped olives. This way I ended up with 3 flavour variations from a single batch.

If you’re going to try something similar, I would recommend dividing the dough into batches first, then mixing your add-ins into each batch separately. Each time you add anything, you have to mix the batter again, and you want to avoid over-mixing.

adding chopped olives and sundried tomatoes to the batter

Once you’ve got your batter all mixed up, you can divide it across your muffin tins. The muffin cups should be about full to the top. The recipe says this only makes 11 muffins, but I was able to get 12 good sized muffins out of this mix.

muffin batter in tins, ready to go in oven

Brush the muffin tops with the remaining garlic butter, then bake at 350°F for 22-25 minutes until slightly golden on top. The surface of the muffin should spring back when poked gently in the centre.

cheese muffins, fresh baked from the oven

Allow the muffins to cool in the tins slightly before transferring them to a wire rack. They’re particularly delicious when served warm.

overhead shot of cheese muffins cooling on a wire rack

What’s nice about this recipe is that you can stir in whatever you’re in the mood for and change up the flavour. I found the plain cheese ones were alright, but I much preferred the extra flavour boost from the sun dried tomatoes and olives.

I’d like to try making these with spinach and feta. I think they would also benefit from a little fresh cracked pepper stirred in. I will be sure to report back when I try these again next!


Cheese Muffins

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Garlic Butter

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)

Muffin Mixture

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups (200g) grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups extra mix-ins such as sun dried tomatoes, feta, chopped olive, cooked bacon, spinach (optiona)

Instructions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. 
  • In a small dish, melt the butter. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and stir. 
  • Brush the insides of a 12 holed muffin tin with about half the garlic butter. Set the rest aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, 1 clove minced garlic and chopped parsley.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until just barely combined (about 8 stirs - avoid overmixing!).
  • Add grated cheese and any other extra mix-ins (if using), and stir again until just combined. 
  • Divide dough between muffin cups. Brush tops with remaining garlic butter.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes until the muffins are slightly golden on top, and the surface springs back when touched in the centre.
  • Let muffins cool slightly before serving.

Notes

  • Recipe Source: Recipe Tin Eats
  • Add up to 1 1/2 cups of extra mix-ins at the same time you are adding the cheese (such as sun dried tomatoes, feta, chopped olive, cooked bacon, spinach)
  • Next time I would like to try adding some fresh cracked pepper to these as well.
 

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