Friday, April 10, 2015

Blueberry Muffins

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I make a bunch of things at once and I photograph them, edit the photos, and then queue up the posts. So, as I type this, it's about one month ago (early March) but I'm going to type as if it's today (April 10) and try to act super casual.

So hello! I'm in Italy! See? I can be super casual; or not. Anyway, I flew out yesterday evening and we're either on our way to or have already arrived in Vernazza. I feel like Italy is such a cool vacation destination and it's kind of surprising that it's taken me this long to get here. I mean, I've been to Rome, but that was in 2009 (yikes, I'm so old now). Plus, it seems like these days everyone is super into traveling (because it's what the cool kids do) and tourism in Italy has blown up 100-fold. I blame/owe it to Pinterest.

Anyway, it's all v. exciting. I love to vacation (I think I just love not working) and I am going to come back with lots of delicious Italian recipe ideas. In the meantime, let me share a super American recipe: the blueberry muffin. Muffins are such a fat person's breakfast. I mean, it's basically cake but you kick the guilt by emphasizing the fruit, even when the fruit is barely present. So, I thought I'd make a version of muffins that are crazy packed with berries so that there's some merit and justification to eating cake for breakfast.
Ingredients [yields 1 dozen muffins]:
2 cups blueberries (1 pint)
1½ cups flour
2 eggs
5 oz. container blueberry Greek yogurt
⅓ cup light olive oil (or canola oil)
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
+ 1 to 2 tablespoons raw sugar
+ extra berries for decoration

I lined my muffin tin with parchment because we didn't have any cupcake liners. It's easy. Just cut parchment into squares (5" to 6") and the find a glass (or anything cylindrical) that fits inside the muffin tin to press the paper into the cup. It's super easy and parchment liners are actually better because the batter doesn't stick to the paper at all so it's much easier to peel. Plus, you don't end up wasting an entire layer of cake; I find that with the ridged cupcake liners, a crumb layer adheres to the liner and it gets thrown out and wasted.
This is a one bowl wondrous batter and it's super easy. Add eggs, yogurt, salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and oil to a bowl.
Stir to mix up the wet ingredients.
Add in the flour, 1/2 up at a time, stirring after each addition. To make sure the muffins are tender, don't over mix. Mix just until the flour is combined and stop.
The dough will be pretty thick and sticky.
Gently fold in the berries.
You will notice that the volume of batter is pretty much equal to the volume of berries. I told you, this is a berry-packed muffin.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and then decorate the tops with more berries and a little crunchy sugar.
Pop the muffins into a 375F oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. "Clean" is a relative word because obviously, if you stab a berry, the toothpick won't turn out clean. You just want to make sure there isn't any raw batter.
The muffins will poof up decently when baked, thanks to the baking powder and the combination of baking soda and acidic yogurt, and the smell will be intoxicating!
Let the muffins cool a bit before digging in.
I love diving into a still-warm muffin and slathering it with butter. The batter is sweet and the tops are lightly crisp and of course, it's bursting with juicy blueberries.
I mean, come on, it's basically like eating a bowl of fruit, right?
Here's the recipe page:

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