Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy To Wake Up Blueberry Muffins: Loving mornings again

I used to very much be a morning person, up with the first buzz of the alarm and cracking and happy to be at 'em. But somehow the things I do as a mother have turned me into a NON morning person. The first crack when my eyes open, all I want them to do is shut them again. The pending chaos of three kids, changing diapers, feeding, brushing teeth, washing faces - all of that often makes me want to roll back under the covers and close my eyes.

But motherhood never lets you have that extra five minutes of shuteye and three children 5 and under make it near impossible to ignore the duties and the calling of motherhood and so I get up. Oftentimes with dread, regret, or annoyance, but I do get up.

But these muffins make getting up in the morning much brighter. I prep the ingredients the night before and already it puts a smile on my face. I know when I wake up in the morning, I'll have something warm and delicious after 5 minutes of work and 25 minutes of baking time. When I wake up, I sneak downstairs, toss the ingredients together and get it into the oven before the kids even notice that I'm not in my room. As the muffins bake and I am getting kids ready, changing diapers and washing faces, the smell of lemon and something yummy wafts upstairs making what I'm doing easier. Daughters will say, "Something smells good mom" and I'll reply, "Something good is coming out of the oven."

I've fiddled with one of Ina Garten's Recipe from her latest book barefoot contessa back to basics only because I don't want a streusel topping on my muffins. I think it is unncessary fat and sugar and I don't like giving it to my kids, especially as a morning meal. These also have less butter (only 1/2 stick vs. many recipes which call for a full stick) and less sugar. I also don't believe in using an electric mixer first thing in the morning as some muffin recipes call for and these don't use a mixer. The extra flavor comes from vanilla and lemon zest and the moistness and richness comes from using buttermilk. In a nod towards streusal toppings, I've sprinkled the tops with raw sugar which was an idea that came from another food blogger - it adds a bit of that streusal crunch but not too sweet.

Make these and wake up with a smile on your face.

** Night before prep notes
Line muffin tin
Measure out all dry ingredients into large bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt)
Lemon zest ready in another smaller bowl
Butter cut and measured (you can leave it out covered so it's even faster to melt)

Happy to Wake Up Blueberry Muffins (adapted from barefoot contessa back to basics)
Makes 16 regular sized muffins

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 extra large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen, UNTHAWED)

2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper.
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix with a fork. Add blueberries and toss all together.
3. In a separate bowl mix buttermilk, butter, lemon zest, vanilla extract and eggs. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Mix until JUST blended (don't over mix as you will make tough muffins.)
4. Scoop into prepared cups, filling them until just full.
5. Sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Printable recipe

The trick to easy scooping in the early morning - a disher #16


Eléonora said...

Hello, it's super nice to have had your visit to my blog and your kind words. I pass by a translator and I hope you understand my words. So, I just know you and it makes me happy .. Have a good evening and greetings from France ... you soon.

sillie smile said...

yum! this is very very similar to my recipe for blueberry muffins, which i used to bake in another lifetime :) it must smell so good in your house, in the mornings!

Anonymous said...

Hello - quick fyi - you have 1 tsp vanilla in the ingredient list but you don't mention it in the baking instructions (i found this out while my muffins were baking and i cleaned up and wondered why my vanilla extract was sitting on the counter). The muffins were ok without it but can't help but wonder how much better they might taste if the recipe really requires it.

Joanne Choi said...

Thank you Anonymous for your quick eye. The vanilla - i think it's just one other subtle element of flavor - not necessarily a deal breaker but nice touch. Thanks for catching my error. I appreciate it.

Prisca said...

I'm not a huge fan of the blueberry, but my mom bought me a basket from the farmer's market. I came to your blog searching for a recipe and wow-- they were delicious!! Thanks so much!

Joanne Choi said...

Thanks Prisca for the nice comment! I do love these muffins too, but a surprising number of people are not fond of the cooked blueberry. You should also try the Orange blueberry ones as they are also super yummy.

Karine Keldany said...

I have to tell you that since I started making this recipe I am hooked. My kids loved it. So easy and so so good. Even my kids friend's mothers want the recipe. I have been making them now for several month and they always come out perfect. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was wondering what i could use as a substitute for the buttermilk - could i use reg milk ?? thanks !

Joanne Choi said...

substitute regular milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Buttermilk has a tang and acidity and it helps lift and boost the leavening process in the muffin (as well as making it taste good. )

olsonsfoodemporium said...

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