Bestest Blueberry Muffins

10 Jul

Hello Dahlings,

The bad mother bear is back again – full of apologies and weak excuses for her prolong absences.  *I’m very, very sorry – I blame the moving/new house/garden/dogsitting/summer session/yadayada.* I’ve been so that I simply don’t know where to pick up.  Guh.

How about with some blueberry muffins?  That should cheer everyone up eh?!  And since I finally got permission from Cook’s Illustrated I can even share the recipe without being filled-with-terror-that-my-blog-might-be-taken-from-me-at-any-moment. Plus, if you haven’t noticed – now is *the time* to make things with local, delicious, ripe, and yes I’ve got to say it – antioxidant-packed blueberries.   This recipe is *to die for,* (I’m talking jam-packed with flavor but not wet, perfect crumb and crumbly, sweet and breathtaking topping)  so if you need to make something really special, want to get away from the box, or just feel like spending some quality time with your oven – then this is the recipes for you!  And just for the record, I always make a double batch of these – it doesn’t hugely increase the workload and if you don’t then ‘”friends and family” may come after you with steak knives because 12 muffins are *clearly* only enough for you and maybe hubby.

Best Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins (reprinted from Cook’s Illustrated with permission)

Lemon Sugar Topping *

  • 1/3 c. (2 1/3 ounces) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest from 1 lemon

Muffins *

  • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) fresh blueberries  *you may substitute frozen berries*
  • 1 1/8 cups (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1. For the topping: Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.

2. For the muffins: Adust oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room remperature, 10-15 minutes.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 c. sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)

4.Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.

5. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

*To substitute frozen berries(wif recommends Wyman’s): Cook 1 cup as directed in Step 2. Rinse remaining berries under cold water and dry well. In step 3, toss dried berries into flour mixture before adding egg mixture. Proceed with recipe as directed.

UPDATE 07/20/2011- 1 1/2 Batch Measurements

Just in case you’re math challenged like myself – here’s the low down on whipping up 18 bakery-style muffins:)

Lemon Sugar Topping

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2.25 tsp. finely grated lemon zest


  • 3 c. blueberries
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar (plus 1 1/2 tsp. for cooking berries)
  • 3 3/4 c. flour
  • 3 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 Tbs. butter
  • 3/8 c. oil
  • 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 tsp. vanilla

*Also, please note:

  • lemon juice and sugar in the raw does NOT substitute for lemon zest and regular sugar.  Instead it melts in the oven and makes a beeline to the bottom of the muffins.  
  • making a quick trip to the store for real buttermilk (instead of the lemon juice/reg. milk trick) and actually following the mix order/directions is worth your time.  Silly me tried to wing it and my muffins, although still delish, are not NEARLY as pretty:(

One Response to “Bestest Blueberry Muffins”


  1. Tweets that mention Bestest Blueberry Muffins « Baking Life By The Horns -- - July 10, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tessah Webb, Tessah Webb. Tessah Webb said: Bestest Blueberry Muffins: […]

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