I have been all about fast breakfasts lately. I don’t know if I’m getting lazier or if we’re getting busier, but there seems to be less time in the mornings around here. OK, so maybe that has something to do with chilly mornings and my desire to hit “snooze” as many times as possible before getting out of bed, but still. There just isn’t always enough time for a bowl of oatmeal before work.
Even on my busiest days though, I still need some sort of fuel in the mornings. I can be somewhat unpleasant when I’m hungry. (Andy will vouch for this. Hangry Beth = no good to anyone.) Enter muffins. They’re portable. They taste good either at room temperature or warmed up, and honestly, the flavor combinations are almost endless. (Don’t believe me? You should see Kirsten’s list.)
Blueberry muffins are one of my favorite kinds, and they’re one of the easiest ones to put together, at least in my opinion. You don’t have to peel or chop the fruit, and odds are, all of the ingredients are hanging out in your pantry/fridge/freezer right now.
These are great with fresh blueberries, but they work just as well with frozen blueberries, which is helpful when a). it’s not blueberry season and b). you froze several pounds of blueberries last July. And like I heard last night on Cook’s Country: “Frozen fruit is always in season.” (Yes, I watch PBS, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.)
I swap about one-third to one-half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat pie and pastry flour, since this is breakfast, not dessert. I go heavy on the blueberries, since we’re kind of addicted to fruit around here. Finally, I add the lemon zest to the sugar and give it a spin in the mixer before creaming the butter and sugar together. I feel like that gives the muffins a better lemon flavor. Of course, that could all be in my head, since I get a big whiff of fresh lemon while I’m working.
I’ll admit that these are best fresh, straight out of the oven, but they keep fairly well in an airtight container for the few days that it takes us to polish off a batch. And since nine muffins just won’t cut it at our house, I always double the recipe, which are the amounts reflected below. That way, we have breakfast (and snacks) for the entire week, which means I can hit snooze one more time. Again. 😉
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
3 cups AP flour (can substitute up to half with whole wheat pie and pastry flour)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
heavy 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (If using frozen blueberries, do not thaw them beforehand.)
Preheat the oven to 375° and line a muffin tin with paper liners. (Alternatively, you could spray the tins with cooking spray, but that never works well for me. Besides, paper liners are so cute!)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then set them aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Mix on medium-low speed for a few minutes, or until the zest has been evenly distributed throughout the sugar and smells lemony. Add the butter and cream together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and beat well, then add the yogurt. Sift about half of the dry ingredient mixture over the batter and mix on low speed until just combined. Sift the rest of the dry ingredients into the batter and mix until the flour has almost disappeared.
Add the blueberries to the bowl and gently fold them in to the batter, which will be very thick. Make sure that the flour is fully incorporated into the batter when you’re done adding the blueberries.
Using a cookie scoop (or two spoons, if the spring on your scoop breaks halfway through the process…), fill the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way full. Bake until golden brown and the muffins test clean with a toothpick, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: Approximately 18-20 muffins
From Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Cook’s Illustrated
Click here for a printable version.