Perfect Blueberry Muffins
Preheat oven to 385 degrees F.
- 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter - softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large eggs - beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries or thawed frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel - finely grated
1/4 cup white chocolate chips - chopped
2 additional teaspoons sugar
Prepare 12 regular-sized muffin cups with a thin coating of butter or cooking spray.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium metal or glass bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until the texture is like wet sand (your fingers are the best utensil for this). Add the beaten egg, milk and vanilla and stir to incorporate. This mixture will be somewhat lumpy.
Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix gently with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Be careful not to over-mix - use only 10 to 15 stokes in a stir/fold motion. It's alright if parts of the batter are still dry.
Sprinkle the blueberries, lemon peel and white chocolate pieces evenly over the batter. Gently fold in the new ingredients using as few strokes as possible.
Using a pair of spoons, dollop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Fill each cup about 2/3 full.
Dust each muffin with equal amounts of the remaining teaspoons of sugar.
Place the muffins in the center of the oven.
Bake 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (no batter).
Like many muffin recipes, these muffins taste best after the ingredients have spent some time together. If you can resist the temptation, wait two hours before enjoying.
385 degrees may seem like a strange setting, but that's the temperature that worked best for us. If you're using a heavier darker muffin tin, decrease the temperature 25 degrees. The dark metal absorbs more heat than the shiny silver/gray variety of muffin tin. As with any baked good recipe, take a peek at the muffins 5 minutes before the timer goes off. If the edges are browning too quickly, reduce the temperature 25 degrees.
Excess liquid can play havoc on a muffin recipe. It's usually to blame for misshapen muffins and, worst of all, liquid batter bubbling out of the muffin cup and burning on the top surface of the tin. Excess liquid from frozen berries can throw off your recipe. Be sure to thaw your berries completely. To avoid excess liquid, lay the berries out on a stack of paper towels before use.
White Chocolate and Lemon Peel:
These ingredients are optional but they add a lot of character to the finished product. In creating this recipe, our goal was to create a muffin that is still great in the rare instance that a bite would have no blueberry. It's important to chop the chocolate morsels into smaller pieces so that they are incorporated evenly in the batter. It's the difference between making a surprisingly special blueberry muffin versus a hit-you-over-the-head filled-with-chips muffin. It creates the mystery and allows you to wink slyly when someone moans, "So good. What's in here?" But you'll never tell.
Just say no to over-mixing. When the protein in flour is combined with liquid, gluten is formed. A lot of gluten is great in certain breads because it creates a chewier, coarse texture. But too much gluten in a muffin batter is the kiss of death. To achieve a lighter texture in the finished product, let the flour and liquid do most of it's mingling in the oven. It might feel wrong to dollop batter into muffin cups with specks of dry ingredients, but it's far preferable to over-mixing.
A nice reliable blueberry muffin recipe. Secret ingredients: grated lemon peel and finely chopped white chocolate.
Mr Breakfast would like to thank Mr Breakfast for this recipe.
Recipe number 1997. Submitted 2/24/2007.