The Thrill of Everything Muffins

BY JeanMarie Brownson TIMEAugust 16, 2022 PRINT

As lifelong fans of sesame bagels, ordering an everything bagel at Zabar’s, our favorite specialty food shop in New York City, proved a no-brainer for me and my family. One bite and we knew we’d seek out those toasted sesame, garlic, onion, and poppy seed bagels at every opportunity.

Decades later, spice companies brilliantly bottled the chunky, aromatic topping from everything bagels into jars. We’ve tried nearly all brands. Flavors vary from very garlicky to a toasted sesame punch. Some taste saltier than others.

It’s easy to customize your own blend. Little flakes of dried minced onion and garlic, along with sesame seeds, form the backbone of the mixture. Lately, I’m in favor of using a garlic seasoning salt with parsley for a subtle garlic flavor. When I have them on hand, I use both white and black sesame seeds. You can toast the seeds briefly in a small skillet to bring out more flavor and be reminiscent of a toasted everything bagel.

Our family uses the seasoning blend on boneless chicken breasts and thighs destined for oven-roasting or the grill. The blend tastes great over a toasted, buttered plain bagel or English muffin in the morning. You’ll also enjoy it sprinkled over corn on the cob and baked potatoes.

For a savory muffin riff, I replace the salt in a muffin batter with everything bagel seasoning blend—either homemade or store-bought. Serve the muffins warm, with butter, as a side at your next cookout. Everything will be delicious.

Everything Muffins

You can use bottled Everything Blend if desired. I like the Simply Organic version available at large supermarkets. Or try the blend from

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (about 1 ounce) Everything Bagel Seasoning Blend (recipe follows)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, half-and-half, or milk (or a combination)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Softened butter, for serving

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 12 standard muffin tins with paper or foil muffin liners. Whisk together the flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and seasoning blend in a large bowl.

Whisk together the eggs and cream in a medium-size bowl. Whisk in the oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the flour is moistened. Do not overmix, or muffins will be tough.

Spoon the batter into muffin cups, filling each evenly. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove muffins from the pan and cool on the rack. Serve warm, with butter.

Everything Bagel Seasoning Blend

Toasting the sesame seeds is optional. You can substitute 2 teaspoons each garlic powder, salt, and dried parsley for the garlic seasoning salt if desired.

Makes a scant 1/2 cup

  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (or more white sesame seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic seasoning salt with parsley (such as Lawry’s)
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Put the sesame seeds into a small cast-iron or nonstick skillet. Set the skillet over medium heat and stir until the sesame seeds just start to turn golden and release their aroma, about 1 minute. Do not walk away or they will burn. Immediately transfer to a bowl to cool.

Stir the remaining ingredients into the sesame seeds. Store in a covered jar, up to several weeks.

JeanMarie Brownson is a James Beard Award-winning author and the recipient of the IACP Cookbook Award for her latest cookbook, “Dinner at Home.” JeanMarie, a chef and authority on home cooking, Mexican cooking and specialty food, is one of the founding partners of Frontera Foods. She co-authored three cookbooks with chef Rick Bayless, including “Mexico: One Plate at a Time.” JeanMarie has enjoyed developing recipes and writing about food, travel and dining for more than four decades. ©2022 JeanMarie Brownson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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