Friday, March 12, 2010

Joyously Jumbo Blueberry Muffins!

There's something unusually fun about making enormous muffins. I don't know what it is, exactly, but the very lack of delicacy is curiously liberating. They're a hoot to prepare, and a real hoot to serve.

The day I made these, I had to pick up my older son from school to take him to a doctor's appointment, and I waited in the parking lot for him to emerge. The sun was shining that afternoon, and a beam of warm light was pouring directly into the car window on the passenger side, right onto the seat he would soon occupy. Since I'd brought one of the surprisingly endowed muffins for him to munch en route to the appointment, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to set that hefty creation right in the beam of sunlight.

So, there it sat--a majestic specimen, sugar crystals twinkling up at him the moment he opened the door. His reaction was perfect. You'd have thought the Hope diamond was ensconced on that white paper napkin instead of a simple baked good. His expression was one of complete astonishment not only at the yumminess before him, but amazement at the muffin's girth. His eyes opened wide in disbelief. Pretty funny. No one can appreciate a gigantic blueberry muffin, at the end of a long school day, like a hungry teenage boy. Bless his heart.

Okay, so they're big.

Anyway, I know they're huge. I don't want you to think I'm advocating that anyone wolf down a whole one of these babies as if it were a normal-sized serving. It's really the equivalent of two muffins in one--let's be clear about that. I don't want anyone getting a belly-ache because they didn't know when to say when. Can't have that on my conscience. We're each responsible for our own consumption, okay? (Say it with me. "We're each responsible for our own consumption." Very good.)

About the recipe . . .

This recipe is one I adapted from Marcy Goldman's book, A Passion for Baking. I changed the recipe by omitting the lemon and orange extracts, increasing the salt slightly, increasing the total amount of blueberries, and modifying the method for panning up the muffins. I also rewrote the instructions somewhat.

My family loved these nice moist muffins in every respect--LOVED them! I'd be willing to bet that yours will too.

Joyously Jumbo Blueberry Muffins

(For a printable version of this recipe, click here!)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set rack in middle of oven.

This recipe will make 12 jumbo-size muffins (2 pans of 6 each), or 24 regular size muffins (2 pans of 12 each).

Line muffin pans with XL paper liners and coat the top of the pans, between the cups, liberally with baking spray. Place the pans on parchment-lined cookie sheets (though it may seem like overkill, doing this greatly reduces the chances of the muffin bottoms over-browning, a danger with jumbo muffins since they need to bake substantially longer than smaller muffins).

2 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 eggs, large
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
5 cups All-Purpose flour (I used unbleached)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 and 1/4 cups, up to 3 cups. of semi-frozen blueberries (If you like your muffins to be loaded with fruit, use 3 cups or a little more if you dare!)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of coarse sugar for dusting the tops

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer, using the paddle attachment, blend the oil, melted butter, and sugar together.

Quickly add in the eggs and vanilla extract and blend well.

Remove your bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture. Or, if your mixer has a slow "stir" speed, use that.

On low speed, blend in the buttermilk and sour cream.

The batter should be kind of thick.

If you prefer, you may stir the berries into the batter at this point, but doing so may turn the batter blue here and there, which is fine if you don't mind. (I, however, do mind! ) Another option is to fill the muffin cups about one third of the way full with batter, then scatter some berries into each cup. Then, cover those berries in each cup with another spoonful of batter, and then add another bunch of berries on top of that. Finally, top all of that off with a last little dab of batter. Sprinkle coarse sugar generously over the top of each muffin.

Bake the muffins, if jumbo sized, for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees and continue baking 12 to 16 more minutes. The muffin tops should be lightly golden, and a toothpick inserted deeply into the center of one of the middle muffins should come out mostly clean. The muffins should also spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. (They'll bake in half the time, if they're not jumbos.)

Let them cool in their pans for about 5 minutes before you attempt to remove them. If the large muffin tops are a little stuck to the top of the pan, slide a knife blade gently underneath to loosen them first. Let them cool further on a rack. Delicious served warm or cold!

(If you'd like to comment on this post, or read any existing comments, just click on the purple COMMENTS below!)


Sarah said...

Just saw these on tastespotting and knew instantly I had to make them. I loveee blueberry muffins! These look especially delicious. Did you use frozen blueberries and slightly thaw them or use fresh and put them in the freezer for a bit? Can't wait to try them out!

Kathy - Cooking On the Side said...

Those are definitely my kind of muffins - especially the coarse sugar on top!

Marie Rayner said...

Oh mmmm . . . lookin scrummy!!!

Cherine said...

mmm looks beautiful and delicious! Love jumbo muffins!!

Stella said...

Cute story-a teenage boy's hunger is certainly something to be reckoned with, but I'm sure these did the trick.
I love a good blueberry muffin and these look very satisfying...

Chele said...

I just wanted to let you know that it is totally all your fault that I went out and bought TWO junbo muffin pans this morning!!!! Shhhhh, don't tell Hubby!

Katrina said...

These are joyous! And big! I love your photos.

Jane said...

Hi Sarah, I used frozen Maine blueberries (love these--they're small, really blue all the way through, and reliably sweet compared to all but the freshest summertime berries we get in Michigan). I put them in a bowl when I started preparing the muffin batter, so they weren't totally rock hard when I put them in the muffin cups. Thanks so much for visiting!
-- Jane :)

You and me both, Kathy. I love the sugar-on-top aspect of muffin tops!
:) Jane

Dear Marie,
I hope the word "scrummy" means good! English cooks use lots of interesting food words that I am still learning.
;) Many thanks, Jane

Hi Cherine,
Glad you like the looks of these!

Hello Stella,
Yep, that giant muffin did the trick alright. I don't think he even finished the whole thing! Hah!
:) Jane

Oh Chele, That's so neat! I do the exact same sort of thing now and then. In fact, the day before I was pondering making these big muffins, I happened to be in a store and saw an XL cupcake pan that was extremly on sale. Since I only had one such pan at home (for just 6 muffins) I snapped that pan right up! Sometimes the fates conspire to assist us in our baking, don't you think?
:) Jane

Hi Katrina,
Thanks so much! I'm glad you like the photos! Besides being fun to make, these were pretty fun to photograph, too.

Work at Home Dad said...

Wow looks so yummy!

Anonymous said...

Baked these muffins as soon as I found the recipe. Soooooo good!!!

I am well into my 80's and have never found a blueberry muffin as good as your recipe.

Even the muffins from Boston's Jordan Marsh Department Store Bakery were not so great--I thought them to be gummy and wet.
Yet, we ate them because it was so easy to pick up a dozen while shopping.

Thank you Jane, for sharing all your wonderful recipes.

Road Trip Foodie said...

saw these on Tastespotting and knew I had to make them asap! I have my mother-in-laws home grown blueberries in the freezer and am always looking for a muffin recipe to do them justice.....honey, these were it!

Katie said...

Oh yum!! These look divine. I adore blueberry muffins but never made them successfully myself - will give this recipe a go. They look fab

Lucy said...

These look fabulous - I love their size! Genius idea, delicious flavours. Yum!

Poires au Chocolat said...

How wonderful - I love the story about your son and the ray of sunshine.

I'm also still trying to work out their dimensions as scale is playing with my mind - is the plate small or the cupcake massive?! Is that a big mug or a small mug?... etc etc. Oh dear. I need to stop spending time pondering this!

Nadji said...

They look delicious.
I love this muffins.
See soon

Unknown said...

Sounds like a really moist recipe for Blueberry muffins. Beautiful with the sugar on top! I must try these. Thanks for dropping over to my blog cos now I found yours. I've checked out a few of your recipes and really like what I see. Great blog!

~~louise~~ said...

I am all over these muffins and I accept total responsibility for my actions.

I bought a large muffin tin weeks ago and I'll be darned if I could adjust a "normal" muffin recipe to turn out as I expected or wanted, Darn it!!! I am so baking these babies up even if I have to go out and buy another tin. There's nothing like a GREAT big shiny blueberry muffin as attested to by that smart young man of yours. Sheer delight!!!

Thank you so much for sharing, Jane. I do so enjoy your blog...

Ms. Meanie said...

Yes, big muffins are the best! These look AMAZING. Love the sugar crystals on top. I'm sure I can wolf down one of these without a problem. :)

Stacy said...

Mmmmmm these look amazing!

faithy said...

Jane! You are tempting me with blueberry muffins again! i have yet to bake your strawberry cheese ones..and now one more on the list! Looks so light and delicious!

grace said...

when i eat a blueberry muffin, i try to save the bit with the most blueberries for the very last bite. i'd have trouble doing that with these--there are so many berries, every bite would be the best!

Anne said...

First I have to say I love your spatula- that's my favorite kind (but I only have red, I'd love a pretty pink one!) I love your oversized muffins and since blueberry is my brother's favorite I'm going to have to try these. So pretty!

HanaĆ¢ said...

These look fantastic, Jane! And the fact that the recipe uses butter AND oil, has me intrigued. I might make half a recipe tonight (regular muffins, since I don't have a mega muffin pan), and add some orange zest. I love lemon/blueberry, but orange/blueberry is even more refreshing.
Btw, did you get my email? And have you found that CIA DVD?
Talk to you later!

Becky Bakes said...

These look amazing and your photos are making my stomach grumble!

Unknown said...

I'd love one of these jumbos. Or even two. Shows how much of a pig I am!

Pam said...

Best blueberry muffins I had ever had, loved the recipe, it's delicious, thank you for sharing...:)..I love your blog


LW said...

I know this recipe was posted awhile ago, but it looks absolutely delicious! I was wondering if you knew the calories of the muffins at all?

Jane said...

Dear Lindsey,
No, I've never tried calculating the calories . . . maybe out of fear?? (Ha! Just kidding!)Thanks for visiting and keep on baking!
Jane :)

Sarah said...

I tried these muffins, and it seemed really promising... but before I added the buttermilk at the end, the batter seemed an awful lot like dough. Then I baked them, and they came out like thick, doughy, tasteless cake. Sorry, but not very good at all.

Jane said...

Hi Sarah,
I'm so sorry to hear that about your muffins! I wonder what could have gone wrong? Are you sure they were baked long enough? In any case, I appreciate that you let me know. These things happen, I'm just really sorry it had to happen to you!
:( Jane

Annie Ho said...

Hey Jane! I was in search of a really good moist muffin recipe a while back and I found your one! So I tried it out and so glad I did! It almost went wrong because I originally halved the recipe but forgot to half the amount of flour but I managed to save it! The texture was lovely! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

Anonymous said...

Hello, i tried this recipe twice. The first time came out dry but then I thought I used an incorrect pan (used 2 loaf pans). The taste was good but the texture was so dry. Then I bought two jumbo muffin pans thinking that should do the trick. One- it took me longer to bake it than what's required in the direction (i had to cook in 5 minute increments after reaching 30 minutes), 2nd, the muffin is still dry (although this time not as dry); and 3rd, quite bland. Overall the time spent is not worth the result of the muffin. Is it really 5 cups of flour