Blueberry MuffinsPosted: 11 February 2011
>One of my coworkers recently had a baby and we’re collecting food to give to the new parents
I’ve been trying to think of delicious, easy food that could be easily frozen that would be easy to reheat and tasty too. I actually came up with some ideas that I hope work out pretty well. Pancakes, while delicious fresh can be tossed in a freezer bag and reheated in the microwave with very little effort. Sort of like frozen waffles except that no one makes frozen pancakes. Except me. Pancakes work well for a snack, a quick breakfast or even dinner. I’ve been plotting and I think I’ll make a few varieties…they’re just so easy to do it seems silly not to make them. Burritos can be made with beans, beef and rice, rolled up and frozen in tinfoil. Easy to reheat, you just pop them in the microwave. Finally, muffins are a nice change to the average breakfast. They can be eaten in the car, with one hand while you hold a baby, and they also can be frozen and thawed without losing any of their deliciousness. So those are the things I’m planning on donating and since I didn’t have a good, reliable blueberry muffin recipe, I had to find one.
Like any good food blogger, I checked the roster of my google reader to see if any of my favorite bloggers had a really fabulous blueberry muffin recipe. I didn’t really find one. I found a lot of fancy muffin recipes, but nothing for a basic blueberry. I appreciate that as food bloggers we’re often trying to create unique recipes or put twists on things that have been done before. That said, I think it’s really important to find, create, and perfect the basics. Sure, I make a delicious baked brie and if you need a quick fish taco, I’m your girl. But really, things like blueberry muffins should be automatic. After searching online I decided I’d try out Ina Garten’s recipe for ‘blueberry coffee cake muffins’ available at Food Network. I’m not sure what about them makes them ‘coffee cake’ and I didn’t really like the look of the picture that accompanied the muffin, but what the heck. I gave it a try. It is, in a word, fantastic. I tried it out last weekend and the batter was so good, I’m surprised I even managed to make any muffins out of it. Oy.
The recipe calls for 8 oz of sour cream and I’m toying with the idea of substituting Greek yogurt, or maybe just low fat sour cream so they’re just slightly less calorie dense. Mostly so I can stuff more of them in my face. I also topped the muffins with some brown sugar to make a nice crumbly top. I think I’ll actually add some oats next time so there’s a nice streusel topping. Also, in case you follow her recipe from the website, don’t listen when it says to fill the muffin cups all the way. They raise! A lot! I filled mine ‘almost’ to the top and I was scrapping bits of volcanic muffin batter out of the bottom of my oven. Stick with filling them two-thirds of the way and you’ll be much better off. Also, you don’t have to spend half your paycheck on fresh blueberries. I used the frozen kind and they were fantastic. Just make sure you don’t let the blueberries thaw first. If you do instead of having bits of blueberry throughout, you’ll just have purple muffins.
Here’s Ina’s recipe with some of my notations:
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (Ina said to use ‘pure vanilla’ but I’m pretty sure the imitation stuff will work
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (I used just slightly less because I don’t like a biscuity texture in my muffins. They came out cakey and perfect.)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I used kosher salt but it makes sifting difficult, so you’ll probably need to just dump the salt in sans sifting)
- 2 half-pints fresh blueberries or a bag of frozen blueberries, not thawed. Honestly, use as many blueberries as you’d like. The more the better.
Now this recipe should yield 16 regular sized muffins. I decided to live dangerously and made 8 giant muffins. Note to self – get mega-muffin paper liners. The whole grease and flour the pan thing doesn’t work very well with muffins. I’m also thinking of making mini-muffins with this recipe. When making mega muffins, you need to almost double the bake time. They took around 45 minutes to finish baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix on low. Add vanilla, sour cream and milk. Mix on low until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry products. Add the flour mixture to the batter and again, mix on low speed until combined. Don’t over mix. Add the blueberries and fold in by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula. Make sure the batter is well mixed. Scoop the batter (it will be thick!) into the muffin liners. Only fill to two-thirds full! Don’t listen to the ‘fill until just overly full’ line! It’s a lie! In fact, here’s a picture of the massive muffin-top overhang you’ll get if you fill the cups to the top.
Sprinkle tops with brown sugar or brown sugar and oats. Bake for 25-30 minutes (for regular sized muffins) or 40-45 minutes (for mega muffins). The tops should be lightly golden and a toothpick should come out clean.
These are really delicious warm out of the oven but what spoke to me was how deliciously gooey and tasty they were the next day. Seriously, so good. I am sure that once individually wrapped, these would be a great pastry to freeze and reheat for a fast breakfast. Actually, they’re probably good frozen too. I’m off to buy more bags of blueberries….