- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Square One (November 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0757001793
- ISBN-13: 978-0757001796
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,224,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Complete Muffin Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Making Great Muffins Paperback – November 15, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
With intensity and earnestness, Ambrosia (Gloria's Glorious Muffins) presents the muffin as a humble treat that's "not only wholesome and nutritious but also delicious, heart-healthy, immensely satisfying, and suitable for enjoying any time of day." Muffins are not, as many consider them, cupcake substitutes; most of Ambrosia's recipes call for healthy ingredients like whole wheat pastry and unbleached white or whole wheat flour. Many of the muffins can be assembled in less than 20 minutes with inexpensive ingredients that are kitchen staples (molasses, brown sugar, etc.), though pricier ingredients (maple syrup, fresh raspberries, apple butter, etc.) also befit the simple muffin. Recipes span various types of meals and spice combinations; chapters showcase "Get-Up-and-Go Muffins," "Crunchy, Crumbly, Fruity, Spicy Do-Da Muffins," "Herby Cheesy Muffins Thangs" and "Low-Fat-and-Still-Yummy Muffins." All the regulars are here (sometimes with a twist)—Citrus-Poppy Seed Muffins, Glazed Sunrise Blueberry Muffins, Mexicali Corn Muffins—as well as some stranger-sounding varieties, like Pesto Muffins and Cosmic Cottage Dill Muffins. Ambrosia's loquacious chapter intros can become irksome, but do not take away from the book's overall usefulness. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Ambrosia here presents her all-time favorite recipes developed over the years, including both savory and sweet treats...emphasis is on wholesome, nutritious muffins."(Library Journal)
Top customer reviews
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Based on my experiences baking four muffin recipes from this cookbook, I recommend it highly, for the following reasons:
Easy to follow format. This cookbook takes advantage of modern computer graphics capabilities to present each recipe in the form of a table, with each different category of information enclosed in its own box and that box assigned to a particular space on the page. Each category of information also comes to us in its own font and typeface to make it stand out further. Specifically, in the upper left hand corner, printed in bold block letters, we are given the muffin yield, e.g. “12 muffins.” Underneath the yield, the ingredients are listed in a small sans serif typeface. They have been subdivided into up to four categories for us, each with its own box: “Dry Ingredients,” “Wet Ingredients,” “Goodies,” and “Toppings.”
In contrast to the sans serif letters used on the left-hand side of the page, all the information on the right-hand side of the page is presented in serif letters. To the right of the muffin yield box, at the top of the page, a large box is devoted entirely to the recipe title which is presented in large white letters against a lt. brown background. In a box directly underneath the title are to be found comments from the cookbook author in brown italics. Underneath the comments section in another box, we find the instructions. Each instruction is numbered using big brown Arabic numerals and clearly separated by line spaces from the one that comes before it and the one that comes after it.
This layout makes this cookbook much easier to use than most. A baker is of necessity always going back and forth between the cookbook he/she is using and his/her work table. With most cookbooks, the different types of information tend to be presented in big blocks of text using the same font and typeface, making it difficult for the cook to find the place in the recipe where he/she last left off whenever the cook consults the cookbook. In contrast, with each category of information clearly delineated and assigned its own space in Gloria Ambrosia’s muffin cookbook, the cook can quickly access any part of the recipe.
I wish that all cookbooks were this easy to use.
Healthier ingredients. Whole grains. The author Ambrosia combines whole grain flours (e.g., whole wheat, buckwheat, barley) with white flour to create tastier, more nutritious muffins. Alternative sweeteners. Ambrosia tends to shy away from using white sugar as a sweetener, replacing it with brown sugar, for example, or maple sugar, or honey, or the sugar contained in fruit, all of which are better for us. A case in point, I made her “Blue Morning Muffins,” and they were the best blueberry muffins that I have ever tasted, although they contained no sugar or other formal sweetener at all. They were sweetened instead by applesauce, all-fruit blueberry jam, fresh blueberries, and coconut. Since I have to watch my carbs, the applesauce and coconut that I used were unsweetened varieties, and the muffins were still more than sweet enough for my taste. I computed the carbs and they came to about 32 grams per muffin, which is not unreasonable. More fiber. It is now generally understood that we need more fiber in our diets, and the use of whole grains and fruit in these recipes increases the fiber count. I computed the fibers for the recipe just described and they came to about 6 grams of fiber per muffin, which is extremely good.
Unique recipes. Many of these recipes use ingredients that I have not seen used in muffins before, and I am left with the impression that Ambrosia developed these recipes herself, and did not simply copy them from existing recipe books as is so often the case.
The Taste. I have used four of these muffin recipes so far, and in each case, the resulting muffins were “to die for.” What more can you ask for in a muffin? Moreover, the muffins stayed moist and did not lose their flavor over time.
Minor Downside. There is one minor “fly in the batter,” so to speak. Most of these muffin recipes are supposed to yield 12 muffins, but with the “Blue Morning Muffins,” filling my muffin cups to the brim, I got 16, and with another recipe 18. I checked and Ambrosia states that her recipes call for 3” muffin cups. I measured mine and found out that they come to only 2.5” in diameter. I consulted a home economist and found out that 2.5” is still the standard size; I then went to Amazon and discovered that 3” muffin cups are not easy to come by and do not plan on purchasing any at this time. Luckily, I have a 6-cup muffin tin that I can use for any “overflow” batter when baking from this cookbook, and will set that up alongside my 12-cup muffin tin each time, just in case I need it. I do not mind this inconvenience and smaller muffins are actually better for me because that means fewer carbs per muffin. However, prospective buyers of this cookbook should be made aware of this discrepancy.
If you are looking for a white flour and sugar standard muffin book, then this one is definitely not for you. But, if you try one of the above muffins, I'm sure you will switch to using the whole wheat flours and delicate combinations of ingredients that is in this book.