1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 recipe Streusel Topping (optional for plain and sweet variations)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups; set aside.
In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
In another bowl combine egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. If desired, sprinkle Streusel Topping over muffin batter in cups.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.
Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.
Poppy Seed Muffins: Prepare as above, except increase sugar to 1/2 cup and add 1 tablespoon poppy seeds to flour mixture.
Cheese Muffins: Prepare as above, except stir 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese into flour mixture.
Streusel Topping: In a small bowl stir together 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts.
Blueberry Muffins: Prepare as above, except fold 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries and, if desired, 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel into batter.
Banana Muffins: Prepare as above, greasing muffin cups (do not use paper bake cups). Reduce milk to 1/2 cup. Stir 3/4 cup mashed banana and 1/2 cup chopped nuts into flour mixture along with the egg mixture.
Cranberry Muffins: Prepare as above, except combine 1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries and 2 tablespoons additional sugar; fold into batter.
Oatmeal Muffins: Prepare as above, except reduce flour to 1-1/3 cups and add 3/4 cup rolled oats to flour mixture.
Pairs Well With
Make these in sweet or savory versions any of the seven recipe variations I've listed, or make up your own!