Sift together the dry ingredients marked ◆. Bring the butter to room temperature. Line the muffin pan with paper cups. Preheat the oven to 180℃.
Add butter to a bowl and mix with a whisk until smooth. (If the butter is still hard, soften it a little in the microwave).
Add the honey and egg. Whisk until the mixture is the same consistency throughout.
Add the sifted ingredients marked ◆ and fold in with a rubber spatula.
Once mixed together, add the milk a little at a time and mix with each addition until the mixture becomes smooth.
Pour the mixture into the muffin pan (until each cup is about 70% full) and remove air pockets by dropping the pan lightly on the counter a few times.
Bake in a preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until risen and golden. Then cool on a rack.
<<If using chocolate chips>> Add the chocolate chips after Step 5 and mix well, then pour the mixture into the muffin pan.
<<If using tsubu-an>> Add the tsubu-an after Step 5 and mix well, then pour the mixture into the muffin pan. They'll turn out better if you don't mix too much. So moist!
Story Behind this Recipe
When I thought about making muffins for the first time in ages, I found kinako in my cupboard. I decided to try it. Because I used kinako powder, which is nutritious, I didn't add sugar and sweeted with honey instead. Honey and kinako actually go really well together!
After you've added the dry ingredients, try not to mix too much. I tried adding chocolate chips and adzuki red beans, but this recipe is also delicious when using black soy beans or simmered beans. They taste amazing just out of the oven, but are still delicious and moist the next day.