Friday, September 4, 2009

BLUEBERRY Muffins, anyone?

I classify muffins as I do scones...something great to have in the morning and takes very little effort to make. However, deciding on what kind, well, that can take awhile, but with our berries being so plentiful this season, I froze quite a few bags (not to mention, made jam), the process this morning went rather quickly.
This recipe comes from the Williams-Sonoma Baking Book I just bought, but I have so many blueberry muffin recipes I could have chosen from. I like the recipes for muffins that call for butter, rather than oil or shortening, because they're more flavorful. Muffins, like quick breads, should not be overmixed, but that's not to say before you add the flour, beating the butter, sugar, and eggs until fluffy truly makes a difference. I added half of the flour with the milk and used the paddle attachment of my KitchenAid to mix the batter just until incorporated. Finally, I used a spatula to fold in the remaining flour. This recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of blueberries, fresh or frozen, which I folded in, but I also added 1/2 cup of dried blueberries. This step always works well with fresh or frozen. It gives the muffin a stability so it doesn't fall apart...very scientific!

There was also a "crumb" topping added, which gave a nice crunch to the top (the part we all know is saved until last to eat.)

I've been making my own muffin/cupcake papers lately and love the ease of removing them without destroying the baked goods. I buy sheets of parchment paper and use a paper trimmer to cut 5-inch squares (remember, I'm a paper artist and have just as many tools for that craft as I do for baking). Next, I center the square over the muffin tin opening and use a small glass to press down. The parchment forms beautifully in the opening, overlapping slightly. I'm telling you this technique of using the squares allows the dough to "climb" up the sides and give a more fuller muffin or cupcake. Try it and see the results for yourself. Enjoy!
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  1. I tried using parchment paper once and I think I also used a glass to get the bottom to crease but the paper kept popping up as I poured the mix in and became lopsidded or batter would go down the side if the paper collapsed. What is the trick? Thanks for the tip too on using a recipe with butter instead of oil - I will have to try this. They look heavenly.

  2. I should have been more specific with the parchment trick. You not only push down with the glass, but give it a twist (counterclockwise) to get the form to hold. Try it again; you will like it better than muffin papers.