THE BEST BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
adapted from: America’s Test Kitchen
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 c. fresh blueberries, picked over
1 1/8 c. + 1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
4 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1. For the topping: Stir the sugar and lemon zest together in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
2. For the muffins: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with vegetable oil spray (or line with paper liners and spray). Bring 1 cup of the blueberries and 1 tsp. of the sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10-15 minutes.
3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture and the remaining 1 cup blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened (if adding whole blueberries – I don’t add them). The batter will be very lumpy with a few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.
4. Fill muffin cups 1/2 full with batter and top with a teaspoon or so of the cooked berry mixture. Use a toothpick and swirl together. Divide the remaining batter between muffin cups. The batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly. Divide the remaining cooked berry mixture between muffin cups. Use a toothpick and gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion. Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.
5. Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through. Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool 5 more minutes before serving. Yield: 12 muffins.
Glazed Blueberry Doughnut Muffins
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp milk
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg for 30 seconds, set aside. In a large mixing bowl using and electric hand mixer set on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar until well blended, about 30 seconds. Stir in eggs one at a time mixing until combined after each addition and adding in vanilla with second egg. In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream and lemon juice. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture and fold mixture just until combined, then fold in 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture mixing just until blended then repeat process ending with flour mixture. Genly fold in blueberries. Divide mixture among 12 paper lined muffin cups filling each cup full with a slightly heaping 1/3 cup per muffin cup. Bake in preheated oven 15 – 18 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (or with a moist crumb or two). Cool muffins on wire cooling rack until just warm, about 10 – 15 minutes.
In a small mixing bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice until well blended. Dip tops of muffins in glaze and allow excess to run off, then return to cooling rack. Allow to rest at room temperature until glaze has set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Mocha Mocha Cupcakes
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp espresso powder (HEAPING tbsps!)
2/3 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, add 1tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes)
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan over medium-high, heat and whisk the butter and brewed coffee together until the butter has melted.
Whisk in the cocoa powder and espresso powder and heat until simmering. You want the mixture to thicken, but not boil. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
While the chocolate/butter mix is heating/cooling, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
SLOWLY pour the chocolate mix into the egg mix, whisking constantly. NOTE: Add only a couple tbsp to temper the eggs. You don’t want to add so much hot liquid too quickly, it will cook the eggs. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated.
Whisk the flour/sugar into the wet mixture in two parts. Whisk about 50 strokes.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 with batter.
Bake 18-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate pan after 12 minutes.
Let cupcakes cool in pan for 4-5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a muffin pan by spraying cavities with non-stick spray or insert muffin liners.
In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, applesauce, vegetable oil, milk, and the vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the zucchini and the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter evenly among each cavity (use a large cookie scoop). Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let muffins cool. Store leftovers in an air tight container.
Butter Pecan Cupcakes
2 2/3 cups chopped pecans
1 ¼ cups softened butter, divided
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt ¼ cup of the butter. Add the chopped pecans and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until nuts are toasted and fragrant, about 10-15 minutes. Do not overcook the pecans. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and remaining cup of butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add the dry mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk. Mix well after each addition. Stir in 1 1/3 cups of the toasted pecans. The remainder will be used to top the cupcakes.
Spoon ¼ cup of batter into each liner. Bake for 13-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 3 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
Butter Pecan Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
8 ½ cups powdered sugar
5 ounces evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Cream together the butter, vanilla and 3 cups of the powdered sugar. Once well incorporated, add evaporated milk alternating with a cup of sugar at a time until all ingredients have been added. Beat on high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Spread on cupcakes and top with remaining 1 1/3 cups toasted pecans.