Monday, August 24, 2009

Muffin, Muffin, Who's Got the Muffin?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 6:31 AM

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When the world all seems a bit too much, I find it best to stop and get some breakfast. A hot cup of coffee and a muffin--even consumed in the driver's seat en route to the grindstone--usually go a long way toward setting things back in order. Last week was One of Those Weeks, and I found myself eating a lot of muffins. Here's how they stacked up.

Fido--I've said it before and I'll say it again: Lisa Bachmann's gluten-free coconut muffin recipe is a world-beater. While slight variations suggest Bachmann & Co. can't resist tampering with the recipe every now and then, the beautiful breakfast bread is consistently delicious. Applesauce makes it moist like cake, but not vapid and bubbly like cheap dessert. Chewy coconut shreds add heft and intense sweetness. It's a treat of taste and texture.

Bread & Co.--In lieu of the beloved blueberry-bran muffin (Please, bring it back!), I've been going with the bountiful bran, which reeks of healthiness. The best part of this dense muffin is all the earthy-grainy-nutty delights that fall off the top. To be perfectly honest, the real reason I go to get this toothsome hunk of fiber is the free samples of cinnamon-covered cranberry-nut bread at the counter. I really love those sugary crisp slices, but I can't bring myself to buy a whole packet--because I would eat the whole packet.

Provence--"Have you had our blueberry muffin before?" the cashier asked at the Green Hills store. "I can't remember." I replied. "Well, it's denser than a lot of muffins," she warned, almost apologetically. I was not encouraged, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that dense did not mean dry. In fact, it just meant more of a good thing, which was a subtly sweet and earnest breakfast bread, rather than a cupcake in muffin's clothing.

Whole Foods--Locally based Wild Muffin supplies the coffee counter, and my banana-nut specimen was a generous-sized hunk of morning nutrition with a restrained texture and flavor that was neither particularly banana-y or nutty. None the less, it was a sturdy and filling complement to the coffee, leaving me fortified to take on the day.

With any luck, this week won't require as many mental-health muffins, but next time things get rough, at least I've done the research. All things considered, Fido's gluten-free coconut muffin does the most for my mood. As far as muffins go, it's tops.

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