Peach muffins are a fruity baked good made using chunks of fresh or canned peaches. These muffins may be a special dessert or treat, or may be consumed as part of a balanced breakfast or lunch. While many fans of peach muffins prefer to make them at home, these baked goods can also be purchased at some bakeries, grocery stores, and gourmet shops. These muffins are most prevalent during peach harvest season, but can be prepared any time of year using canned or jarred peaches in place of fresh ones.
To make peach muffins, cooks start by washing fresh peaches and chopping them into small chunks or cubes. The skin is often left on, though some people prefer to remove it before adding the peaches to the muffin mixture. Depending on personal preference, chunks of peaches may be kept rather large to add texture to the muffins, or diced very small to add flavor without adding the chewy texture of this fruit to the muffins.
Peach muffins can be prepared by simply substituting peaches for any other fruit. For example, they may be used in place of apples or bananas in recipes that call for these fruits. Special recipes made just for peaches are also available for those who wish to complement the natural flavors of the peach.
Many of these recipes call for the same basic ingredients, including peaches, flour, sugar, and oil. Some include almond extract or chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts. Others require a streusel or crumb topping made from butter, brown sugar and chopped nuts. Spiced peach muffins are made with allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon to give them a sharp flavor that contrasts the sweetness of the peach. Peaches and cream muffins include chopped peaches with a cream or cream cheese filling tucked inside the heart of the muffin.
Many people consider peach muffins to be essentially a dessert. To make these muffins healthier, one can modify a standard recipes to add bran, oatmeal, or other whole grains. Some cooks also replace oil with applesauce to cut the fat of these muffins without cutting flavor.
Peach muffins are generally served hot, and can be topped with melted butter or eaten plain. Some people may also dress up the muffin with jam or preserves. Muffins can be stored for several days and eaten at room temperature, or reheated in the microwave or oven as desired.