Best Blueberry Muffins
I come from a family of muffin eaters. When I was growing up, it was totally normal (and expected) to wake up to a house filled with the wonderful aromas of a freshly baked breakfast. And not just on the weekend, I recall many school day mornings waking up to just-baked muffins or scones. I thought all kids had that going on at home.
In a weird way, I feel like muffins run deep in our veins. When I was growing up in BC we would make Saturday or Sunday morning runs to Muffin Time if noone felt like baking that morning. This is before the days of Tim Hortons or Dunkin Donuts for my American friends :). When you walked into Muffin Time, the first thing you’d see was the back wall behind the cash register filled with dozens and dozens of kinds of muffins. Dad and I would always go and bring some back for Mum. Sorry Sister, you weren’t around yet! The Muffin Time muffins were huge, with lovely crusty tops that you could pull off the bottom. Fantastic. At home, my Mum always makes the banana muffins, and my Dad does pretty much everything else in the muffin-scone family. I learned how to make biscuits from him, and scones, and homemade bread. He’s the baker in our family, and this recipe was first made by him.
And so it makes perfect sense that I always have muffins in the freezer. Truly – always. Marcus and I bring a muffin to work every day, so it’s important I have a nice stock of options in the freezer. As a girl, we had pumpkin muffins, and cranberry-cheddar muffins, these blueberry muffins, and zucchini muffins. Now, I like to make banana, or bran, or plum poppyseed, but always, always go back to these blueberry muffins.
Since Marcus and I are bringing these for a quick breakfast at work, it’s usually important that they have some healthy element. Let’s be honest – these don’t hit that mark for everyone (white flour, white sugar, butter…), but they’re so darn tasty it’s easy to overlook every once in a while. In the summer, I’ll use fresh blueberries. But for the other 10 months of the Canadian year, frozen blueberries are a totally acceptable alternative. Plop the frozen blueberries in without thawing and it’s happy days.
There’s a couple of important things to pay attention to when making muffins, or any cake really. You don’t want to over-mix the batter, as you’ll overstimulate the glutens in the flour and the product will be dense or gummy. I’m also not a fan of muffins that use oil in place of butter. My opinion is that the fat in the batter should come from butter. It’s less greasy, and I prefer the texture and taste. Finally, as mentioned several times before, muffins are so very versatile and freeze beautifully. Make a double batch – trust me.
If you’re like me, you’ll also want to make a double batch because you can’t resist making enormous muffins. I genuinely can’t stop myself from spooning just a little more batter in each time, and then I’m left with these huge, gorgeous muffins. As I was re-reading the recipe to prep for this post, I nearly fell off my chair when I read that the intended yield is sixteen muffins. Sixteen! I made eleven, and was totally satisfied with that. If you’re more inclined to follow the rules and make an appropriate number, adjust your cooking time back by a couple minutes.
You’ll find these best blueberry muffins are light, perfectly “seasoned” with cinnamon, and almost cake-like. All that baking powder puffs up the tops into a perfect bronzed and crispy lid. I’m not one to butter a muffin, but for those that are I imagine these would be a lovely vehicle for all that goodness. Nothing beats pulling one of these babies out of the freezer for an easy, delicious, homemade breakfast. Muffin time!
Best Blueberry Muffins
From Williams-Sonoma Collection: Muffins, as first found and made by my Dad
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup milk, I used 2%
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup blueberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray (or butter them).
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, and eggs.
Add the dry ingredients, a couple spoonfuls at a time, to the wet ingredients and stir until barely blended. Add the blueberries and stir until just integrated.
Spoon into your prepared muffin tins, filling each until almost level with the tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool in tins for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.