Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How to make Maple Bacon Breakfast Muffins from Scratch or Pancake Mix by Cleo Coyle


These delicious muffins deliver the taste of a pancake breakfast in one
bite, and today I'll share
 two ways to make them: from scratch or
with 
a pancake mix starter.

A Brew to a Kill
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Culinary Inspiration

In the food truck wars of my latest Coffeehouse Mystery, A Brew to a Kill, a "cupcake queen" peddles a decadent buttercream-frosted maple bacon cupcake from her Vegas-worthy showboat of a Kupcake Kart. (I’ll be posting that recipe soon!) In the meantime, I give you the culinary counterpunch--a breakfast muffin worthy of being sold by my amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, on her competing Muffin Muse truck.

Roast Mortem
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To create Clare’s recipe, I started with a good, basic maple muffin, using buttermilk for richness. Next I folded in caramelized bacon bits, made from a recipe that I first shared in my 9th Coffeehouse Mystery, Roast Mortem, a mystery that features arson (and firehouse recipes :)). I finished with a sprinkling of more candied bacon bits and a little, pre-bake drizzle of maple syrup. The result is an outstanding breakfast muffin that, in one bite, evokes the flavors of a classic pancake breakfast—bacon, maple-syrup, and a fluffy buttermilk flapjack. My husband (and partner in crime writing) flipped for these. I hope you do, too.


~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries





Cleo Coyle’s Maple Bacon 
Breakfast Muffins



To download a PDF version of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.



"From Scratch" Version


Makes 6 regular-size muffins (or 12 mini muffins) 

Ingredients:


Caramelized bacon bits consisting of…
  (6 slices of bacon, smoked or maple + 6 teaspoons of light brown sugar) 

1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt (if using table salt, use only a pinch) 
1 egg, lightly beaten with fork 
2 tablespoons canola oil 
1/3 cup + 1½ teaspoons pure maple syrup (not “pancake syrup," see note)*
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use light) 


*Note: “Pancake syrup” is not maple syrup. It consists of corn syrup flavored with maple extract. If you use pancake syrup instead of pure maple syrup in this recipe, be warned that your muffins will be dry. Use pure maple syrup for best results.

Directions:

Step 1 – Make caramelized bacon bits: First preheat oven to 375° F. Muffins need a very hot oven to rise properly, so give the oven a good 20 minutes of pre-heating.  Meanwhile, cut 6 slices of bacon into small pieces. (Tip: I use kitchen shears.) Sauté over medium-high heat until half-cooked—still soft and flexible with fat just beginning to change color. Drain fat. Add 2 tablespoons light brown sugar. Stir and continue stirring over heat until bacon bits are cooked through but still flexible (do not cook until crisp and brittle). Transfer bacon bits to a plate, break up any clumps into a single layer. Set aside to cool.



 Step 2 – One bowl mixing method: Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until well blended. Make a well in the center. Add fork-beaten egg, measure in canola oil, buttermilk, and 1/3 cup of the maple syrup (you will use the final 1½ teaspoons from the ingredient list later). Whisk the batter until well blended, but do not over-mix or you’ll develop the gluten in the flour and your muffins will be tough instead of tender. The batter will be loose. Fold in the bacon bits, reserving enough to sprinkle over the muffin tops before baking in the next step.




Step 3 – Sprinkle and Drizzle: Coat 6 muffin cups and top of muffin pan with non-stick spray. If using paper liners, coat the papers as well as the top of the pan. Divide batter among the 6 sprayed or lined muffin cups. Sprinkle the reserved caramelized bacon bits over the top of each cup’s batter and drizzle a small amount (¼ teaspoon, no more) of maple syrup on top of the bacon bits and batter.



Step 4 – Bake: If baking standard muffins, check them in 15 minutes for doneness. If baking mini-muffins check them in 8 minutes. Muffins may need a few more minutes than stated, depending on your oven. They’re done when a toothpick inserted comes out with no wet batter clinging to it. 

NOTE: The maple syrup drizzle will cause the muffin tops to stick a bit to the pan. Simply use a butter knife to gently free it before removing muffins from cups. FYI - I use the toothpick method to remove baked muffins from their pans. Stick two toothpicks into the muffin from opposite ends and gently lift.
 


Pancake Mix 

Version

For fun, I included this “pancake mix” option for making the batter in this recipe. The difference between the “scratch” recipe and this one is mainly texture. The scratch version has a more cake-like crumb while the texture of the pancake mix version is more like a cornmeal muffin, but it’s very good too, and worth a try if you’re curious—and have some pancake mix handy in your pantry! ~ Cleo


Makes 6 regular-size muffins (or 12 mini muffins)

Ingredients:

Caramelized bacon bits consisting of… 
  6 slices of bacon, smoked or maple + 6 teaspoons of light brown sugar 
1-½ cup dry buttermilk flavor pancake mix (What brand? See my note below.) 
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 egg, lightly beaten with fork 
2 Tablespoons canola oil 
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (and not “pancake syrup”) 
½ cup whole milk (1% or 2% will work; but do not use skim milk) 



*Note on pancake mix: Do not use Bisquick. Do not use a “just add water” mix. Use a mix that requires the addition of milk, eggs, and oil or melted butter. (I use Aunt Jemima Buttermilk flavor.) No matter what brand you choose, a buttermilk flavored mix will give you the best results. 


Directions: Follow the directions in the previous recipe with one exception. In Step 2, use this batter instead. Whisk together the pancake mix, brown sugar, baking powder, fork-beaten egg, oil, maple syrup, and milk until well blended. Do not over-mix. Fold in the caramelized bacon bits, reserving enough to decorate each muffin top before baking.
The batter will be loose. (Now move to Step 3 in the "from scratch" recipe.)









Yes, this is me - Cleo Coyle
Learn about my books here.

Friend me on Facebook here.
Follow me on Twitter here.
Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of


To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.



To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit
my online coffeehouse:
 
CoffeehouseMystery.com




The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 
 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.

9 comments:

  1. Cleo, you had me at the caramelized bacon. These would be so much fun to serve at a brunch or holiday breakfast. which version did you and your hub prefer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping in today, Lucy. On your question: which version do we prefer? I'd have to say the "from scratch" version, mainly because of the texture, which is more cake-like. The pancake mix version was very good, too, but its texture was more like a cornmeal muffin.

      I enjoyed experimenting with the pancake mix, and that version is a nice way to finish off a box in one's pantry, but I definitely recommend the "from scratch" version for a better overall muffin. Have great week, Lucy...bake with joy!

      ~ Cleo
      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

      Delete
  2. I'm with Lucy. You had me at the caramelized bacon, too!! I'm sitting here with my coffee wishing I had one of those muffins right now. I can't wait to try these.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you, H. I have to grin at the bacon love. For a window of time on this blog, we had a motto: Everything's better with bacon! With fall and winter upon us, maybe it's time we added bacon to every other recipe again. :)

      As for me, my maple bacon cupcakes are coming up soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these morning muffins. They really do evoke the flavor of a buttermilk pancake breakfast—needless to say, I think they're especially good with a fresh, hot cuppa joe!

      Cheers and thanks so much
      for dropping by our Kitchen,

      ~ Cleo
      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

      Delete
  3. Just imagining wowing my family with these on Christmas morning.... I bet they'd give me all THEIR presents! Thanks, Cleo - these are going to be a smash hit, I can tell (even with the turkey bacon I always use).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laine! - Always a pleasure to have you drop into the Kitchen. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you and your family enjoy the muffins, too...the candied bacon is an extra step, but it's worth it. For anyone who really enjoys a pancake breakfast, I practically guarantee, a "wow" reaction. :) Cheers, happy baking to you, and thx again for dropping in.

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

      Delete
  4. LOL! I was just thinking about baking maple muffins. Must be the season when maple sounds so good! What a lovely morning treat!

    ~ Krista

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Krista, and you're so right about maple syrup. That first nip of fall in the air makes me crave it, which is ironic because maple syrup is not tapped in the fall or winter but early spring (when the tree sap begins to run). Nevertheless that sweet, earthy flavor pairs so beautifully with fall favorites: acorn squash, pumpkin bread, baked apples. It worked wonderfully as the primary sweetening ingredient in these buttermilk muffins, too. Even without the bacon, these babies were delicious. Have a great week…

    Bake with joy!
    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, just found you, while researching muffins you can make with pancake mixes. We are having a bake sale and happen to have an abundance of pancake mix left over from the pancake breakfast we had in Florence Oregon. I Love cook book mysteries (I think they are called). I must have over 50 by now. I make some of the recipes I find in them and share at Bunco games. I did make one substitution in this recipe that I make to a lot. I substitute some of the pancake mix or flour with almond flour. Seems to me it keeps them moist. I'll be giving this one of yours a test with some of the other ladies next week.....wish me luck...Faye

    ReplyDelete