I think it's kind of funny that behind this little guy, you can see his fallen brother behind him...
So, I've worked at this bookstore for a couple of years now. It's not one of those tiny, quiet bookstores you see in small coastal towns. It's one of those large corporate stores with candles, DVDs, and a Starbucks. Oh and books.
I finally cross-trained in our cafe and I absolutely love it. The baker in me loves following the drink recipes, and I get inspired by the baked goods we sell.
I most recently got some inspiration from the "Wild Blueberry Muffins." What makes them so Wild?
I'm aware of the fact that the word "wild" describes the blueberries, but I would like to think these muffins are called "wild" because of the delicious crumb topping and the fact that they're the size of a grapefruit.
So I went home after work one day and I experimented a little bit, and out of my oven came some of the most delicious blueberry muffins I've ever had.
I'm not usually a fan of blueberry desserts--call me un-American, but Blueberry pie often sounds better than it tastes. However, the crumb cake aspect of these muffins really sends them over the edge. Before you pop them in the oven, you sprinkle on some crumb topping and some coarse sugar--the result is rampant deliciousness.
So, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
I popped this poor guy in the microwave for about ten seconds to soften him up.
Dump in the sugar...
And cream the butter and sugar together until combined.
And because you are a rebel, you can incorporate the baking powder, salt, and vanilla at this juncture in the recipe. Or you can be normal and sift the salt and baking powder into the flour and incorporate it later. Do whatever will help you sleep at night.
**I was supposed to add close to 3 teaspoons of baking powder to this recipe, but later I realized I actually used 3 half-teaspoons (1 1/2 tsp) due to the fact I couldn't find my teaspoon and am an airhead. You'd think as a baker I would have a reliable set of measuring instruments. You would also be wrong. I seriously need to get my act together.
It turned out great, though. If you want your muffins to be more round on top, feel free to add up to 3 teaspoons, as opposed to the 1 1/2.
Go ahead and whisk the milk and eggs together.
So at this point I incorporated a teeny-tiny amount of the milk/egg mixture into the butter/sugar mixture to soften it up. Then add a small amount of the flour until it is fully combined. Continue alternating the milk and flour until it forms a somewhat thick batter.
It should look like this. The process of incorporating the milk and flour might be kind of frustrating, but I promise that eventually it will all come together. Just try your best not to over-mix it--it'll make the muffins dry.
Then gently fold in the blueberries. Frozen or fresh, it is no matter. Just as long as they are blueberries.
I don't care who you are, where you're from, don't care what you did as long as you looove me.
Yes, those are lyrics to a Backstreet Boys song. Been stuck in my head all week. I'm sorry.
When you fold the blueberries into the batter gently, the batter won't turn out too purple/blue...it'll look like this!
Now, to make the crumb topping, all you need to do is cube up some cold butter, toss it in a bowl, and then add sugar, flour and cinnamon.
Ideally, you would use a pastry cutter to mix all the ingredients together, but because I realize even bakers do not possess pastry cutters (ahem), you can also use two knives to cut the other ingredients into the butter. This is a very frustrating way of making a crumb topping, but it works...eventually.
The final result will be a crumbly mixture and a chip on your shoulder.
It should look like this (aka Deliciousness).
Fill a muffin tray with liners, or grease the tray and let the muffins go free and unrestrained into the world.
I used a large ice cream scoop to portion out the dough...feel free to use a spoon, etc.
Now you are going to make magic happen. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the muffins. You will look at them and think "This is way too much crumb topping, this can't possibly be good." This is flawed thinking. Put as much of the topping on as you possibly can.
Sprinkle some coarse sugar over the top, and then put them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Not the most wonderful picture, but you get the idea. They were beautiful.
These were seriously delicious...
For some reason I thought you would enjoy seeing a picture of one of these torn in half. Why? I just don't know...
These are wonderfully lekker. You have to make them if you love blueberries...even if you don't love blueberries. Why buy one when you can make about nine? It seems like a conflict of interest for me to say that, but these are just too good to miss out on.
Here's the recipe:
Blueberry Crumb Cake Muffins
For the batter:
1 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup frozen blueberries
For the crumb topping:
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
coarse sugar for sprinkling (such as raw or turbinado)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, if you please.
Cream the softened stick of butter with the 3/4 cup sugar. Add the baking powder, salt, and vanilla and combine.
Beat the eggs into the milk. Pour a small amount in the butter/sugar mixture to moisten it a small bit. Alternate adding small bits of flour and small bits of the milk/ egg mixture until it's all incorporated and makes a thick batter.
In the mean time, cut the cold butter into chunks and put them in a bowl. Add the other ingredients for the topping and cut them with either two knives or a pastry cutter until they resemble coarse crumbs.
Put liners into a muffin tin and scoop batter into them (should make about nine total). Sprinkle great amounts of crumb topping onto the batter and then sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.