Savoury muffins — especially ones featuring the tasty trio of malty red ale, creamy cheddar and smoky paprika — are just the sidekick your cold-weather bowls need. Plus, these small-scale quick breads couldn’t be simpler to make, and (drum roll, please) they’re stirred up in just one bowl. Now who’s the smartest baker around? You are.
Ingredients for the Muffins
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
1-1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) salt
1-1/2 tsp (7.5 mL) smoked paprika
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
6 tbsp (90 mL) cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped green onions or chives
1 341 mL bottle red ale, chilled
2 large eggs
Ingredients for the Red Ale Garlic Butter
3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
1 tbsp (15 mL) red ale
1/4 tsp (1 mL) garlic powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
Directions for the Muffins
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with butter or cooking spray, or line with paper liners. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, smoked paprika and sugar.
Using a fork, a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub butter into flour mixture until crumbly with some pea-size pieces throughout. Stir in 1-1/4 cups (310 mL) cheddar and the green onions.
Make a well in the centre and pour in red ale. Add eggs to ale and, using a fork, whisk liquid ingredients together until blended. Using fork, stir in some of the flour mixture around edge of well. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, continue mixing just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. (Do not overstir.)
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle tops with remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL) cheddar. Bake in preheated oven until springy to the touch, light golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out dry, 18 to 20 minutes.
Brush warm muffins with Red Ale Garlic Butter. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack. Serve warm or let cool completely.
Directions for the Red Ale Garlic Butter
While muffins are baking, in a small saucepan, combine butter, red ale, garlic powder and salt. Warm over medium-low heat, swirling pan often, until butter is melted and mixture is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk to combine. Keep warm until ready to use.
Muffins are best eaten on the day that they’re made, but they’ll still be tasty for a couple more days if you reheat them before digging in. You can warm whole muffins in a preheated 325°F oven or toaster oven for about 5 minutes. Or place a dry skillet over medium heat; cut muffins in half and place them, cut sides down, in skillet. Cook until cut sides are toasty and muffins are warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes.
You can also make a batch or two of these muffins for later. Wrap individually in plastic or beeswax wrap and place in a resealable freezer bag. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months.