Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

To go along with my Blueberry Boy Bait from last week, here's another way to use up the 8 pounds of frozen blueberries that are keeping my freezer running efficiently!

My Grandma used to make blueberry muffins for breakfast when we would stay overnight at her house when I was growing up. I always thought it was the greatest treat to have muffins fresh from the oven for breakfast, as my mom never made muffins that early in the morning - we always reheated them in the microwave if we wanted warm muffins for breakfast. My 3rd grade mind thought my Grandma must have gotten up HOURS before us to be able to pull out hot muffins at just the right time.

I shared this with my mom, who said "She doesn't get up that early...the muffins are from a box!" But I didn't care where the batter came from...fresh muffins for breakfast are still one of my favorite morning treats. (I have since added large amounts coffee to that list, but that's a little more mature than my 3rd grade self)

So one Saturday morning, my son and I went to work getting these muffins baking, and they came out of the oven right as my husband was stumbling out of bed. Perfect timing, even if I do say so myself!

These muffins were coffee shop quality but still easy to whip up at home. They make large muffins, and even then, my husband and I ate way too many for breakfast. The few that made it to leftover status got happily eaten as snacks later in the day.

My muffins did not look exactly like the photo in the cookbook, because I couldn't get the "jam filling" stirred into the muffin batter as easily as I would have liked, and I didn't make the topping, as I didn't have any lemon in the house. But these were still the best blueberry muffins that have come out my kitchen!

I am sharing this at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Blueberry Muffins
recipe from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook
Makes 12 Muffins

Lemon-Sugar Topping (I didn't add - no lemon in the house)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon

2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over
1 teaspoon sugar plus 1 1/8 cups
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping: Stir the sugar and lemon zest together in a small bowl until combined and set aside.
For the muffins: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a standard-sized muffin pan with vegetable oil spray. Bring 1 cup of the blueberries and 1 teaspoon of the sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cook to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and the eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combines. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg moisture and remaining 1 cup blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened . (The batter will be very lumpy with a few spot of dry flour; do not overmix.)
Using a 1/3 cup measure or an ice cream scoop, divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups (the batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly). Spoon 1 teaspoon of the cooked berry mixture unto the center of each mound of batter Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.
Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool the muffins in a pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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