LisaN was kind enough to submit "Oatmeal Apple Nut Muffins" (recipe below) as the first entry in the muffin challenge.
I've decided on two major, and five minor areas of scoring for judging a muffin.
Major #1: Taste -- is it yummy? super-yummy? hyper-delicious? 10 possible points.
Major #2: Texture -- moist, but still fully baked? Does the texture help the overall taste, or detract from it? Crispy outside, tender inside? 5 possible points.
Minors: -- 1 possible point each.
1) Ease of mixing -- is it fussy, or easy?
2) Ease of ingredients -- are the ingredients easy to get, keep fresh, assemble?
3) Ease of baking -- easy to get in and out of the pan, bake well, uncomplicated?
4) Freeze well? Can you freeze or otherwise keep the muffin for about a week, possibly more?
5) Ease of defrostin -- post-freezing quality of the muffin.
Sooooo a perfect muffin would be a 20. HOWEVER, I reserve the right to....
-Even if a muffin scores a zero on all the minors, if the taste is so good, it can override a muffin that gets all five. Essentially, if the muffin is good enough, the baker (me) can through out all the minors and make them meaningless.
I just wanted to find a way to differentiate between these good muffins, assuming I like all of them the same in the taste department.
I also reserve the right to go back and change the score on a previous muffin, if I find, say 5 muffins into the challenge, that I've over or under scored.
The muffins will be tasted in these ways:
Fresh from the oven, just cool enough to eat
Cool, but still fresh (the next day)
After freezing for a few days, defrosted.
Ok! So onto the first muffins. I haven't frozen these yet, so I'll have to write that part up in a few days.
LisaN's Oatmeal Apple Nut Muffin:
A good, relatively low fat muffin. I'd put the taste, fresh out of the oven and at room temperature at a 7. Texture -- good, but slightly chewy from the rolled oats. Don't get me wrong, it's not an unpleasant texture, but the oats do add a slightly different dimension.
The ingredient list is good -- I love the idea of grated apples. However, the apples just add nutrition, moisture, and sweetness. I detected NOOO apple flavor. Which is fine -- it's just interesting that the person who wrote this recipe put Apples in the title. If no one told you, you'd never know there were apples.
I love the idea of both yogurt and maple syrup being in these muffins. The syrup flavor does shine -- it's sweet, but not overly sweet. Much preferable, from a health standpoint, than using white sugar.
The oats add fiber and interest, but I think that there is too little nuts (only 1/3 cup chopped -- I used walnuts for this batch, as walnuts and pecans were both suggested) to add textural interest. If I were making this muffin again, outside the challenge, I'd up the nuts at least to 1/2 cup.
But other than that I'd not change this muffin. It's a mighty fine one.
I'll let the group know when I've frozen and defrosted these. I'm looking forward to another one tomorrow with my morning coffee.
Score Recap on LisaN's Oatmeal Apple Nut Muffins:
Taste -- 7 out of 10
Texture -- 4 out of 5
--Mixing -- 1 out of 1
--Ingredietns -- 1 out of 1
-- Baking -- 1 out of 1
Freezing and Defrosting yet to come.