Blueberry Muffins

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January probably isn’t the time of year you think of for blueberry muffins, but for some reason the idea of making them has been stuck in my head all weekend. Maybe it’s because I just spent a long time at home and they remind me of walking to the bakery when I was little to get a “Boo Boo Muffin”, or maybe it’s just because blueberries were on sale at A&P earlier this week so they stood out to me. Either way, I decided to make them to bring to work tomorrow, since we have a faculty meeting and that usually means the staff room could use a bit of a morale booster.

The recipe I have is called “Cable Blueberry Muffins”. When my mom was redoing her kitchen a long time ago, I agreed to copy all of the recipes in her recipe box onto new cards so they’d be easy to find. I painstakingly went through the recipe cards, magazine clippings, and scraps of paper to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and this was one of the ones clipped out of a newspaper at some point, on a page with maybe three other recipes. I assumed it must be important if my mom had it in her special box, so I asked about it later, thinking they must be the best blueberry muffins ever, but she said she’d never heard of Cable Blueberry Muffins. Oh well.

Anyways, I apparently also at some later date copied it onto an index card for myself, and when I was cleaning my apartment yesterday, it was miraculously sitting on top of a pile of cookbooks as if it knew I was making blueberry muffins this weekend. So I used it.

First, separate the egg whites and yolks, and put the egg whites in a small bowl. Beat them with a hand mixer on medium speed, and add 1/4 cup of sugar, continuing to beat until foamy.

 

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In a large bowl, cream the butter using a hand mixer on medium speed.

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Add the vanilla, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, and egg yolks to the butter and beat until smooth.

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In a medium bowl (I realize that you will likely use your entire set of bowls to make this recipe – it’s kind of satisfying when that happens despite the extra clean up), combine the flour and baking powder.

 

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Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the main batter mixture (that’s the one with the butter in the large bowl), beating after each addition until completely combined.

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Fold in the blueberries. I have one spatula that’s considerably sturdier than my other one, and I use it almost exclusively to fold things in. Definitely worth investing in.

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Finally, fold in the egg whites, again using your sturdy spatula.

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Spoon the batter evenly between 12 lined muffin tins. They will be about 3/4 full.

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Bake at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

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Allow to cool slightly in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool further.

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Obviously, blueberry muffins are best enjoyed warm with a hefty pat of butter. However, they will also keep for a couple days at room temperature if you store them in an airtight container. Alternatively, if you want to always have emergency blueberry muffins on hand, they freeze and thaw pretty well, too.

Enjoy!

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Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries

Directions:

  1. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until foamy. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer on medium speed to cream the butter. Add the vanilla, remaining 3/4 cup sugar and egg yolks and beat until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  4. Add the flour mixture and milk in alternating portions to the main batter, beating after each addition until completely combined.
  5. Fold in the blueberries using a rubber spatula.
  6. Fold in the egg whites.
  7. Spoon batter evenly among 12 lined muffin tins. Bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove to wire rack to cool.
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Fig Muffin Tops

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At some point this summer, I became obsessed with figs.  I think it may have had to do with a flatbread I had at a bar and went back for 3 separate times.  So when I was at the supermarket this week and saw that they had figs that you could buy by the box, I couldn’t resist.

Originally, I bought them with the intent of recreating the previously mentioned flatbread, which I did a pretty solid job of if I do say so myself:

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That’s fig with goat cheese, caramelized onions and balsamic glaze on a whole wheat pizza crust.  Yea, it is as good as it sounds.

Then I had more figs left over (a box is a lot of figs) so I made fig and prosciutto pasta:

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Also delicious.  But then I started to panic.  After all of this fig cooking, I still had like half a box of figs.  What could I do with them? I was running out of ideas.

So I turned to Pinterest and was saved: Fig and Honey Scones.  Who doesn’t want fig in a scone?  I happily set out to bake them… and ran into a problem.

The batter was nothing even relatively close to scone consistency.  Maybe it was due to the added liquid of using fresh figs rather than dried.  Maybe I just messed up.  Either way, what I had was most definitely not a scone.

Easiest way to solve my problem? Rebranding.  They were softer than a scone and significantly less structured, but they did resemble the top of a muffin, which everyone knows is the best part.  And thus, Fig Muffin Tops were born.

So how do you make these delicious muffin tops?  Read on.

First, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

 

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Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and canola oil.

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Add the honey and whisk until combined.  This is a potential area where I messed up – I didn’t have quite enough honey.  But I don’t think that would have caused the mayhem I saw later.

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Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to combine.

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Add the cream and mix together with the rubber spatula.

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In a small bowl, combine the figs with the sugar.  I used fresh, but you could use chopped dry figs as well.

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Fold the figs into the batter carefully – figs are fragile little fruits.

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Using LOTS of flour, turn the batter onto a floured surface and pat into a round.

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Cut it into 8 roughly even sized wedges and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  This is messy.  It’s fine, I promise.

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Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.  They will spread a bit – you can fix that with some strategic spatula cutting later.

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Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Serve warm or freeze and half muffin tops whenever you want them!

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Despite the rebranding due to unforeseen structural issues, these turned out pretty awesome.

Enjoy!

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Fig Muffin Tops

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup diced figs

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and canola oil.
  3. Add the honey and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine with a rubber spatula.
  5. Stir in the heavy cream.
  6. Stir the sugar into the diced figs and add to the batter, folding in carefully.
  7. Turn batter onto a heavily floured surface and flatten into a disk.  Cut into 8 equal wedges and put on parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Transfer to wire rack to cool.