I love to bake, so I was excited to get my hands on a copy of 500 Best Muffin Recipes. I assumed it would be a book I would turn to all the time once it was on my shelf.
Well, it certainly is an impressive collection of recipes, if you are looking at sheer number and variety, but for a few reasons I have found this book a little bit disappointing.
My main gripe is that it is almost impossible to get the book to stay open. It's a thick paperback with a stiff spine, so the only way it will stay open is if you hold it open, or if you place a very heavy object on the book (a large can of apple juice for example)--and even then it is nowhere near flat. I can't understand why cookbooks are routinely made this way. A spiral binding would have been so much more practical and that feature alone would have encouraged me to use the book more often.
I find that although there is an impressive array of recipes here--you can find a muffin recipe for just about any odd combination of ingredients you have on hand--there really doesn't seem to be a lot of *good* recipes. Or perhaps the problem is merely that since there are so many recipes, it's hard to pick out the good ones! I've made about half a dozen recipes from this book, and to be honest they have all been somewhat disappointing. I'm sure that in such a large collection some recipes must be real keepers, but I don't think I want to try all 500 to find out which ones are the best.
I think a book with perhaps the "100 Best Muffin Recipes," might actually be more helpful because there wouldn't be so many to sort through.
But, as I said there is quite an assortment here, so if you really love to bake muffins and are looking for some unusual recipes then you would probably enjoy this book.
I will still use this book on occasion, but simply put, it is not my favourite.
on January 28, 2009
My kids and I like to bake, and we've found this book wonderful. So far, all the recipes have worked reasonably well (I've tried 20 or so, and haven't found a dud yet.) There are a large number of recipes for any given type of muffin-bran, banana, apple, etc, so you can often find one to work with whatever ingredients you have moulding in your fridge.
There are a couple of things that are not perfect about this book, but that's not a reason not to buy it. I agree with the other reviewer that the binding is terrible. I'm always losing my page. The organization of the book is strange, with, for example, bran muffins put in three or four different sections. The index works fine, though. You can usually find what you want with that. Also, there are some mystery sections of recipes that I wouldn't try-like puffins, cuffins, etc. I have no idea what those are.
Overall, I love this book, and use it constantly. My friends are forever borrowing "my" muffin recipes. I have stayed away from the low fat and mystery "muffins" as well as savory and meat muffins. But, overall, I've found I have a large number of tasty and reliable muffin recipes. Hope this helps.