After Elaine exclaims that she only likes the tops of muffins ("The Muffin Tops" first aired on May 8, 1997), her former boss thinks Elaine has hit on a clever marketing idea. But when you only sell the tops, what do you do with the hundreds of muffin "stumps" (bottoms) that are left? Elaine and her gang take to the streets with garbage bags of stumps, trying to pawn them off on anyone and everyone. There are no takers; even the homeless turn them down with disdain. It didn't take long after the airing of the episode for muffin-top pans to appear on store shelves ? another TV triumph.
Recipe courtesy of Sara Moulton
Total:
55 min
Active:
10 min
Yield:
12 tops
Level:
Easy

Ingredients

Batter:
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 large yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries (12 ounces)
Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • Special equipment: 2 muffin-top pans, each with 6 (4 by 1/2-inch) muffin-top cups (1/2 cup capacity)*; or regular muffin pans

Directions

To make the batter: Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Generously butter muffin pans.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, then remove from heat. Whisk in milk, then whisk in whole egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined well.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then add milk mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in blueberries gently but thoroughly.

Divide batter among 12 muffin cups, spreading evenly.

To make the topping and bake muffins: Rub together all topping ingredients in a bowl with your fingertips until crumbly, then sprinkle evenly over batter in cups.

Bake until golden and crisp and a wooden pick or skewer inserted diagonally into center of a muffin comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

Cool in pans on a rack 15 minutes, then run a knife around edge of each muffin top and carefully remove from cups. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Muffin top pans are available at cookware shops and cooking.com.

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