Friday, April 10, 2009

My Favorite Blueberry Muffin Recipe

I like to use frozen Maine blueberries when I make these. They're small, tasty, available all the time (you can get them in a big bag at Costco, for eg.), and not horrendously expensive. The texture of these muffins is beautifully soft, not tough or rubbery at all. They are delicious and they smell great when they're in the oven. Don't expect them to stick around your house for long. My kids absolutely love them.

This recipe is from the book Baking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America, on page 72. I hope they won't mind me sharing it with you. This is an excellent book, by the way. I bought my copy used for about half the cover price.

Makes 12 muffins.

Flourless cooking spray for greasing (if you decide not to use paper liners)
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour (divided use)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (the CIA says "grated nutmeg" but heaven knows I never have a real hunk of that around)
3/4 whole
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry, or unthawed frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin pans lightly with cooking spray or use paper liners. Sift the 2 cups flour, the baking powder, salt, and nutmeg into a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, blend the milk, egg, and vanilla extract.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth in texture, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed and scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed to blend the batter evenly. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the batter is very smooth, 2 minutes.

In a bowl, scatter the 2 tbsp. flour over the berries and toss to coat them evenly. Working by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, fold the blueberries into the batter, working gently and just long enough to distribute the berries evenly.

Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups. Bake until the top of a muffin springs back when lightly pressed, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove them from the pans to finish cooling.


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