Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is there a difference between Muffins & Cupcakes?

Ahh, yes I have been contemplating some serious issues... I've been on a bit of a bake here lately, starting with a box of Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix. I have never liked any "airy" box cake mix so I augment the ingredients with some density infusing goodies. Every cake mix benefits from 1 cup of quick-cook oatmeal, just stir in and follow the egg, oil and water additions as written on the box.

My secreting of oatmeal into baked goods stems from my sense of utter failure as a new mother when my toddlers would not eat a bowl of the stuff. There was more oatmeal on chairs, walls and table than ever passed the lips of my little ones. I remember once rolling my son, in his high chair outside (we lived in sunny California then) to hose him off, as he had upturned the entire bowl over his head! Consequently, I started sneaking oatmeal into the kids' food. I have no idea why I was so obsessed, but in my mind nutrition = good mothering.

Almost twenty years later, my kids beg for oatmeal brownies or breakfast cake. Yes, breakfast cake, we aren't frosting fans, so for all those past school mornings I'd make a 13 x 9 cake from a mix, add in oatmeal, a 1/2 cup chopped nuts and some dried fruit or carrot and let them eat it for breakfast. Lately, I have been enamored with the cupcake size for breakfast cake; portion controlled and portable. Tonight I made some from scratch, with a bit of guidance from my ancient Betty Crocker Cookbook. I used the Oatmeal-Raisin version but without the raisins, instead topping them with bits of thawed raspberries & pearl sugar. Very yum while warm and sipping a stout cuppa tea.

That was our return snack after walking Emma & Wendy in the newly fallen 5 inches of snow. Happy, happy dogs although it was a bit icy going. Emma is shorter and had to leap from footprint to footprint when she got tired from breaking through the snow crust.

Regarding my initial blog question about cupcakes and muffins... There's no real difference, other than my dictionary says muffins are eaten warm. And I'm good with that!

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