Blueberry Muffins or Any Berry Muffins for That Matter

I’ve been on a baking jag again. Always seem to happen during the winter months when the weather is nasty and staying indoors is the most sensible option. I’ve ripped through a couple of batches of cookies, a couple of lemon loaves and dusted off the muffin tin to make a batch of blueberry muffins with a struesel topping.

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Muffins, not to be confused with the tarted-up cupcake, are best consumed straight out of the oven, or at least within a few hours. Not for any concern for perishability but out of sheer joy. A member of the quick bread family, they are dead easy to make. The basic premise is to combine the dry ingredients, combine the wet ingredients, then combine the two together, then bake. One crucial rule for success is to remember to combine the two ingredients together swiftly. I find folding the best method. NO vigorous stirring or beating otherwise you’ll end up with leaden affairs best served to your enemies. All muffin recipes read: “until just combined.” And they meant it.

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Once you get the basics down, you can start improvising. Add in baking spices to the dry ingredients, orange or lemon zest, or grated ginger, depending on the fruit. Sour cream or yogurt can be substituted for buttermilk when called for ( mine does!), and fruit can be fresh or frozen, as long as they aren’t ¬†too juicy. I love using frozen blueberries. There’s no need to thaw, just fold them right into the batter. They hold their shape very nicely. The adorning of streusel topping is completely optional. You could also make a sugar cinnamon topping and sprinkle it on top of each muffin before baking. Or not. It’s up to you. You, the star.

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk, sour cream or thick yogurt
1/4 lb. butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest (lemon zest works too!)
2 large eggs
2 cups blueberries (if using frozen, do not thaw)

For the muffins. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with some good looking paper cups, or grease tins with butter. Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and zest. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold the berries into the mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX! With an ice cream scoop or two soup spoons, divide batter among the muffin cups to about 3/4 full. Add optional streusel topping, a tablespoon over each muffin, and bake until lusciously golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Streusel Topping (Optional)

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

Cut butter into the flour, sugar and cinnamon until evenly combined and crumbly. Delicately spoon a tablespoon of the topping over each muffin. Bake as directed.

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3 Responses to “Blueberry Muffins or Any Berry Muffins for That Matter”

  1. Lee says:

    I made these last night and they turned out beautifuly. The dough seemed too dry while folding but the finished product was extremely moist. I ran out of steam and didn’t make the streudel topping and substituted some brown sugar instead.

    Thanks for posting this, it’s going in my recipe book.

  2. So glad to hear it, Lee! Thanks for the commentary! Bon appetit!

  3. Claudia says:

    This looks sooooo good! I’m gonna try it for sure!

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