Best Blueberry Muffins

Summer is here.  We are already enjoying our new summertime pace to life.  Carter gets to stay up a little later and sleep as long as he likes in the mornings.  We wake up, stay in our pajamas as we make and eat breakfast.  Twice this week I’ve had the pleasure of drinking an entire cup of coffee while it was still warm – with no reheats.  Nice, I know.  I can think of no better way to celebrate the beginning of summer vacation than to have cake for breakfast.  Now you can argue that muffins are not cake… but you will be wrong.  The ingredients are very similar, but I feel tons better about eating them as a meal because they contain a good amount of fruit.  And these muffins are no joke.  They really are the best.  If you are going to splurge every once and a while, you might as well go all the way.

Best Blueberry Muffins (from Cook’s Illustrated May/June 2009)

Printable recipe

– INGREDIENTS –

for the topping
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon

for the muffins
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/8 cups sugar, plus 1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

– PREPARATION –

1. To make the topping, mix together the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 425F (make sure the oven rack is in the upper-middle position). Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup blueberries with 1 tsp sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook, mashing berries, until they have popped and the mixture has thickened (approximately 6 minutes). Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature (10-15 minutes).

4. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk 1 1/8 cup sugar with the eggs until thick. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Add buttermilk and vanilla, mixing until combined.

5. Fold egg mixture into dry ingredients along with remaining blueberries. Stir just until moistened (batter will still be lumpy with a few spots of dry flour. Do not overmix).

6. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter will come to the top of each muffin cup). Spoon 1/2 tsp blueberry mixture into the center of each muffin. Using a toothpick or skewer, gently swirl the filling into the batter. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.

7. Bake for 17-19 minutes, until muffin tops are golden and just firm (Rotate muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time). Cool muffins in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool for an additional 5 minutes.

Enjoy warm!  And, here’s to hoping you get to eat yours with a full cup of warm coffee, too!

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