Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Favorite Blueberry Muffins

I've made several versions of Blueberry Muffins and Blueberry Bread and this is my favorite recipe. The tart taste of the fresh blueberries mixed with the flavor of the sweet cake make every mouthful a luscious delight. If you sprinkle the tops of the muffin batter with coarse sugar before baking, the baked muffins have a bit of a sweet crunch when you bite into them.

Fresh blueberries work best with this recipe as they don't break apart and mix into the batter like frozen berries. I recommend using muffin/cupcake paper liners in muffin tins instead of cooking spray. As the muffins bake, the blueberries burst and will stick to the muffin tins making it difficult to remove the muffins from the pan.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
2 cups fresh ripe blueberries
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon Watkins Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Watkins Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Watkins Lemon Extract
Turbinado or coarse sugar for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Pick through the blueberries, discarding any over-ripe mushy berries or unripe berries and removing stems. Rinse the berries in a colander and drain well. Pat with a paper towel to remove excess water. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk.
4. In another mixing bowl whisk eggs, buttermilk, canola oil, vanilla extract, and lemon extract.
5. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients using as few stirs as possible. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Do not overmix.
6. Fold the blueberries gently into the batter using as few strokes as possible.
7. Line a standard size muffin tin (12 muffins) with paper liners. Fill each cup nearly to the top with batter. Use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup.
8. When the liners are filled with batter, sprinkle the top of each muffin lightly with turbinado or coarse sugar. This will add some sparkle and texture to the top of each muffin.
9. Bake muffins for 18-25 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and springy to the touch.
10. Let muffins cool for 15 minutes and then gently remove from the tin. Place on a wire rack and cool to room temperature; then serve.

This recipe is best made with buttermilk but if you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar or lemon juice to a 1/2 cup glass measuring cup and then add milk to equal 1/2 cup. Stir well and let the milk stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes to develop the buttermilk flavor.


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