The thing about baking from scratch that no one tells you is that it’s thrilling. The suspense! The entire time, you just dump different things into a bowl and you have no idea if it’s going to turn into something edible or not. Baking from a mix–at which I’m sort of an expert, if one can be considered an expert at opening a bag and mixing its contents with water–isn’t suspenseful. You know if you pay even the slightest attention to what you’re doing, you’re going to end up with delicious muffins, or cupcakes, or brownies. You barely have a choice.
But baking muffins from scratch? After lugging home $20 of ingredients you don’t typically keep on hand because Betty Crocker doesn’t require these things of you, 45 minutes of intense concentration (the recipe said 15, but hey), and several minutes of stirring because you don’t own an electric mixer, you have this:
But then! You put it in the oven, panic because it seems you’ve burned the bottoms though later you’ll find it was some sort of baking-from-scratch optical illusion, wait a while, and then bite into one of these muffins, and you discover–they’re totally edible.
Worth it? No. But in a pinch, when you’re trying to use up apples from apple-picking and don’t realize the recipe for apple bran muffins only takes one apple until you’re already committed to making it, it’ll do.