Monday, March 11, 2013

"The Best Ever Blueberry Muffins" as long as you like doing dishes!

I need to get back to my blog, little snippets of life for everyone to see.  

It has been a very hard year so kids have been sick with a variety of things but the hardest part was losing my beloved Grandma at the end of January.  She is the one who took the time to teach me how to sew, knit, cross stitch and bake.  I can remember going to her house after school and helping mix up batch after batch of cookie dough - and getting to sample both the dough and the final product.

On weekends I have been attempting to bake more.  I'm sure my waistline won't be impressed but it makes me feel closer to Grandma for even an hour while I'm stirring and baking.  Here is the one I tackled this weekend.  I have cut and pasted it below, but here is the direct link to the post I pulled it from:  A Cook's Quest

Best Ever Blueberry Muffins


Blueberry Muffins
Recipe Source: Modified slightly from my friend Anisha who got it originally from Cook's Illustrated

**Cook's note-These muffins can be flavored with any variety of fruits and toppings.  Using the muffin recipe as a base for any flavor you like!**

Edited 12/24/11--Add your butter gradually if you decide to do the streusel topping.  More or less may be needed depending on the humidity in your area to create a nice crumbly topping.  If you find it is too soft add more flour to achieve the consistency you need.

Sugar Topping

1/3 cup (21/3 ounces) sugar 
1½ teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon

Streusel Topping
3 T white sugar
3 T brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
5 T melted butter

2 cups (or less if you are me!) fresh blueberries, picked over
1 1/8 cups  plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 1/2 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

If topping with lemon sugar, stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.

  If topping the muffins with streusel, combine ingredients until it is the size of peas and set aside.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. If your oven cooks on the hot side normally, reduce the heat.  Some people have commented that 425 was too hot.  I would recommend getting a thermometer for your oven if you aren't sure.  

Prepare standard muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or liners. Bring 1 cup blueberries, water,  and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with your potato masher or fork several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced by about half.  This will take about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk remaining sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and well combined. Slowly mix in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not over mix.)

Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar or streusel evenly over muffins.

Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.
All I have to say is they were amazing, but I'm not sure the number of dishes I needed to wash after the final product was done was worth it...glad I have a dishwasher for the majority of them! 


Lianne said...

You have been in my thoughts a lot lately and I have been checking on your blog, but knew you would post when you felt ready. So, it is so nice to see you back and posting.

I have to say that I understand the connection you have with your gramma through baking, my gramma did the same for kind of things with me as your gramma did with you. I have gramma's tin flour scoop, it sits in my cupboard and it connects me to us when I was a child.

I wish I had a spot at retreat this weekend, I will miss seeing you and would really like to give you a great big hug in person, so since I can't, ((((big hugg))) I hope we can get together soon. Let me know when you feel up to some company, cause I am up for a roadtrip or vice versa.

I know you take care of your family, just remember to take care of you too ;-)))