Monday, November 17, 2008

The SATs of Cranberry Zinger Muffins

For the following quiz, use a No. 2 pencil and a soft eraser. Do not use a pen or mechanical pencil. An essay written in pen will not scan and receives a score of zero. Cell phone use is prohibited.

Sentence Completion

Boy, I’ve been on a _____ kick lately. They’re ____ to make and the cost is ____.

A) baby … fun … a bottle of wine and a Barry White CD
B) muffin … simple … nominal
C) pants … sew easy (har har) … $19

D) magic mushroom … trippy … I’m not sure because the walls are melting

If you’re looking to serve a ___ of something for ____ breakfast, you could do worse than ____.

A) billion … your mom’s … many bowls of rice
B) gram … Boxing Day … hard drugs
C) butt … Butt Day … butts
D) basket … Thanksgiving Cranberry Zinger Muffins from Cooking With Amy

In this recipe, _______ are largely replaced by ______ juice, making the ____ very light.

A) puppy hearts … cat knees … evil
B) oil and eggs … lemon and orange … muffins
C) Maxwell House coffees … another brand … beatings
D) Tom Cruise’s armpits … Hugh Jackman eyeball … Zac Efron gaze

Passage-based Reading

In her description of Cranberry Zinger Muffins, Amy writes, “It's Spring and I am craving mouth-watering tangy flavors. I find most muffins are too sweet for breakfast. This muffin recipe combines lots of tangy flavors that I love, especially lemon but also orange, cranberries and ginger. You can leave out the ginger if it's too zingy for you or your family.”

The “flavors” Amy refers to are:

A) sweet
B) tangy
C) the embodiment of all that is wrong with the world
D) What flavors? Where the hell am I?

What is the difference between Cranberry Zinger Muffins and most other muffins?

A) They are rainbow-colored and filled with bison meat.
B) They aren’t too sweet.
C) They won’t make you pregnant.
D) They won’t try to hit on your dad.

In this context, Amy’s use of “zingy” means:

A) punchliney
B) tart
C) pseudoantidisestablishmentarianism
D) the adorable hilarity of Paul Rudd mixed with the testosterone-fueled machismo of Vin Diesel, with a little smattering of Phyllis Diller on the side


If one muffin costs $0.34, how much will it take to ultimately bail out insurance giant AIG?

A) $0.34
B) A trillion dollars.
C) More money than I can possibly conceive of, paid off exclusively by future generations.
D) No money, but a lot of crystal meth.

If each muffin has 177 calories and less than five grams of fat, what is the probability George Clooney will show up at my house tomorrow and make me breakfast?

A) 1/2
B) 3/4000000000000
C) Π
D) Trick question. This is obviously an imaginary number.

If the recipe makes 12 muffins, and you eat nine of them in two days, what should you never, ever do again?

A) Weigh yourself.
B) Pretend to write a blog about healthy eating.
C) Try to brush your teeth with mint toothpaste the morning after drinking eight shots of Rumpleminze on your roommate’s 19th birthday. (Um … this was possibly a leftover answer from another SAT question.)
D) Eat the remaining three muffins.

Thank you for completing this test. The answer to every question was B.

Cranberry Zinger Muffins
12 muffins
Adapted from Cooking With Amy.

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened but not melted
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Rind of one lemon grated
Rind of one orange, grated
3/4 cup citrus juice (combined juice of 2 lemons and 2 oranges)
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoon sugar

1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

2) In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk it all together. Set aside.

3) In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, cream the sugar and butter together. (You can use the stand mixer paddle, a hand mixer, a pastry cutter, or if you're a little masochistic, two forks.) Add egg. Stir in. Add ginger, lemon zest, orange zest, and citrus juice. Stir. Slowly add the flour mixture, mixing until the batter is just moist. Gently stir in cranberries.

4) Split batter among the muffin tins. Top every one with a little sugar. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Muffins should be golden brown and pass the toothpick test when finished. (Stick toothpick in center. If it comes out clean, you're good to go.) Remove pans from oven and let muffins cool in tin for a few minutes. Then, pry the muffins out and eat immediately, or let them come all the way down to room temperature.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
177 calories, 4.5 g fat, $0.34

2 c flour: 910 calories, 2.5 g fat, $0.18
1 T baking powder: 7 calories, 0 g fat, $0.10
1/2 t baking soda: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
1/4 t salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
1 large egg: 74 calories, 5 g fat, $0.17
3/4 c sugar: 581 calories, 0 g fat, $0.24
1/4 c unsalted butter, softened but not melted: 407 calories, 46.1 g fat, $0.25
1/2 t grated fresh ginger: 1 calorie, 0 g fat, $0.07
Rind of one lemon grated: 1 calorie, 0 g fat, Free
Rind of one orange, grated: 1 calorie, 0 g fat, Free
3/4 c citrus juice (combined juice of 2 lemon and 2 orange): 85 calories, 0 g fat, $2.00
1 1/4 c fresh or frozen cranberries: 55 calories, 0.2 g fat, $1.04
2 T sugar: 93 calories, 0 g fat, $0.04
TOTAL: 2122 calories, 53.8 g fat, $4.11
PER SERVING (TOTAL/12): 177 calories, 4.5 g fat, $0.34


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