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You can prepare our quick & easy Cheese and Onion Muffins at home in less than one hour.
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A muffin is an individual-sized, baked product most commonly associated with morning mealtime. It’s one of the most popular on-the-go breakfasts that can easily be made ahead and stored in the freezer to enjoy later.
Muffins can refer to two distinct baked goods, a part-raised unsweetened flatbread that is baked and then cooked on a griddle, and a cupcake-like sweet or savoury quickbread that is leavened with baking powder and baked in a mold.
While the most common quickbread muffins are sweetened (such as lemon blueberry muffins, mincemeat muffins and morning glory muffins), there are also savoury varieties such as jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins and cheddar apple muffins.
One 19th century source suggests that muffins may be related to the Greek bread maphula, a cake baked on a hearth or griddle. Culinary historians also look to the Old French mou-pain, meaning soft bread, which may have been corrupted into “mouffin.”
The word is first found in print in 1703, spelled moofin; it is of uncertain origin but possibly derived from the Low German Muffen, the plural of Muffe meaning a small cake. The expression muffin-man, meaning a street seller of muffins, is attested in a 1754 poem, which includes the line: “Hark! the shrill Muffin-Man his Carol plies…”
One of Canada’s top selling cookbooks of the 1980s was Muffin Mania, which helped popularize muffin making from Newfoundland to British Columbia. Homemade muffins were originally prepared as a healthy breakfast option, high-fibre mid-afternoon snack or low calorie dessert.
In 1997, muffins were popularized once again in Seinfeld’s now famous “The Muffin Tops,” episode. Like many muffin lovers, Elaine shared her love for only eating muffin tops. She hilariously talks about the fact that muffin stumps are not worthy of consumption as they don’t have the desirable crunchy texture. She shares the idea of opening a store that sells just muffin tops with her ex-boss and is outraged when he steals her idea.
When he offers her 30% of the profits to help his struggling business, they initially give the unused stumps to a homeless shelter. But after they get complaints about the missing muffin tops by a charity worker, they have to get rid of them elsewhere. Newman eventually takes the muffin stumps off their hands, smiling with glee!
My Family Loves Cheese and Onion Muffins
One of my fondest memories growing up as a kid was waking up in the morning at our family cottage in Muskoka and smelling freshly baked muffins.
My family’s two favourite recipes were Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and Lemon Blueberry Muffins. In the summer we’d forage for wild blueberries and incorporate them into out favourite baked goods. My sister was the family blueberry fan while I was mostly obsessed with the marriage of banana and chocolate.
My family is obsessed with the classic cheese and onion pairing. We love incorporating caramelized onions into pasta sauces like Mac & Cheese and our favourite savoury pastry entree is an Old School Cheese and Onion Pie.
In this muffin recipe we’ve flavoured the batter with onion powder, garlic powder, caramelized onions, parmesan and cheddar cheese. We top the muffins with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese, which browns and gets crispy while baking in the oven.
Buying VS Making Homemade Muffins
Today, muffins are often sold at grocery stores, McDonald’s cafes and coffee shops like Starbucks and Tim Horton’s. Unfortunately most commercially prepared muffins are simply cupcakes without the icing.
Read the ingredients list and you’ll find store bought muffins are full of sugar, fat and “flavourings” rather than real fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. The excessive sugar, salt, fat and additives in commercial muffin recipes allow the grocery stores and coffee shops to extend the shelf life so they don’t go stale as quickly as a homemade muffin would.
The best way to enjoy healthy muffins is by preparing them at home, allowing you to control the proportion of ingredients. We suggest eating muffins fresh the day they are prepared. If you have any leftovers muffins pack 3-4 in a ziplock bag in your fridge and simply warm them up the next day in the oven. You can use a microwave to reheat muffins but they won’t produce the desired crunchy texture.
Any remaining Cheese and Onion Muffins should be stored in the freezer and can keep for 2-3 months. We like to double our muffin recipes when we prepare them so we have a storage of yummy muffins in the freezer that we can easily enjoy several weeks later.
Homemade Cheese and Onion Muffins Recipe
There’s no better comfort food than a steaming, moist Cheese and Onion Loaf, sliced and served with melted butter or cream cheese.
We prefer to prepare homemade Cheese and Onion Muffins as they are small individual portions. Homemade muffins can be easily stored in the freezer to extend their shelf life and are a great on-the-go breakfast snack.
So what qualities make the best Cheese and Onion Muffins? The perfect muffin must be crunchy on the outside, well leavened so the muffin cap holds its shape and doesn’t shrink when cooled and feature a moist and light interior.
Looking to prepare easy Cheese and Onion Muffins? Baking is a science so you can’t just lower a muffin recipe’s fat and sugar content or you will bite into a chewy, hard and unappetizing product.
Cheese and Onion Muffins Tips
If you’re looking to prepare Cheese and Onion Muffins on a whim and are missing a few ingredients at home don’t worry!
You can easily substitute whole wheat flour if you don’t have All Purpose. Or use buttermilk if you don’t have access to regular milk.
We prefer to make caramelized onions with the sweet vidalia variety. You can substitute for Spanish cooking onions, red onions or shallots.
We’ve incorporated cheddar and parmesan cheeses in our muffin batter but you could substitute for another shredded cheese like havarti, gouda, manchego or gruyere. During the holiday season we like to incorporate crumbled blue cheese into the batter and topping for an extra special treat.
The one tip I give all muffin making beginners is to avoid over-mixing the batter. Light and fluffy muffins are made by reducing the amount of gluten in the batter. If you whip muffin batter with a beater the final product will be as hard as a hockey puck.
For best results, form a well in the dry ingredients and pour your wet ingredients inside. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The finished batter should be fully incorporated, so be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so you don’t find unmixed flour. The most important rule to muffin making: when mixing, less is more!
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Best Cheese and Onion Muffins Recipe
Cheese and Onion Muffins
- muffin tin
- Mixing bowls
- cheese grater
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 cup Vidalia Onion chopped
- 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp White sugar
- 1 tbsp Onion powder
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 cup Canola oil
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese grated
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- In a non-stick skillet over medium heat stir butter and chopped onion. Sauté for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.
- In a large mixing bowl mix all dry ingredients together and stir in cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of parmesan.
- Beat egg, milk, oil and caramelized onions into a separate bowl and add to dry ingredients. Fold gently until just combined.
- Spoon Cheese and Onion Muffins into well-greased cups. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese then bake for 15-20 minutes.
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