As good as those muffins look, slightly browned and peaking gracefully over the top of the baking cups, you know they’d look – and taste – even better with a glaze as the crowning touch. Much lighter than frosting and thinner than icing, a glaze may be so thin that it merely looks shimmery on top of a muffin. Make a simple glaze with confectioners' sugar as your base ingredient. Once you master a basic sugary glaze, consider other flavored glazes to make your repertoire of muffins burst with flavor.
Things You'll Need
- Confectioners' sugar
- Sifter (optional)
- Vanilla extract
- Food coloring
- Lemon or apple juice
- Semisweet chocolate chips
- Small saucepan
- Maple syrup
Sift confectioner's sugar before using it, or at least it fluff it up with a fork. Even fresh confectioner's sugar can clump and stick together, a condition that makes it more difficult to stir.
Make a simple sugar glaze by pouring some confectioner's sugar into a bowl. Create a little gulley for the liquid ingredients to follow; doing so might help you combine the dry sugar with the wet ingredients by folding the sugar on top of them. Add about 3 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract for every 1 1/4 cups of sugar. Stir the ingredients thoroughly. If the glaze is too thick, add a dash of milk to thin it. This is precisely where many overeager cooks unwittingly begin a vicious cycle: They add too much milk, then try to compensate by adding more sugar, then more milk. To avoid this repetition, add just a dash of extra milk at a time, then stir.
Tint the sugar glaze with a drop or two of food coloring. Doing so won’t change the flavor of the glaze, but it might alter the impression. For example, add a drop of red food coloring to a glaze that will top red-velvet muffins. Or drop a splash of green coloring in glaze that will top dark-chocolate muffins or white cake muffins.
Create a simple fruit glaze by combining confectioner's sugar with lemon or apple juice. It doesn’t get any simpler than this – just two ingredients – to enhance the flavor of lemon, lemon-cranberry or apple-cinnamon muffins.
Indulge chocolate lovers with a simple chocolate glaze. Melt a dab of butter with some semisweet chocolate chips in a small saucepan. Add some confectioner's sugar and stir. Add a dash or two milk until the glaze reaches the consistency you desire for a wide variety of chocolate-based muffins.
Make a simple maple glaze for cinnamon strudel or banana muffins. Combine confectioner's sugar and milk. Add a small of amount of maple syrup to taste.
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