What can I make for a Saturday morning breakfast when there is only one lonely egg in the house? Blueberry muffins! These are my most favorite muffins- not too dense, not too sweet and full of fresh plump blueberries. I used almost all the eggs last night for the dogs dinner- yes, I cook for my babies every night. After the dog food scare last year, I just felt uneasy feeding them the store bought stuff. Since then, both the goldens have just blossomed, all the paw licking stopped (usually caused by allergies), their coats are shinnier and all around they seem more energetic and happy. I read up on all the do's and don'ts about dog food and have not looked back since.
Back to the muffins. I use cake flour because I find it makes the muffins lighter. I gave both the weight and measurement for the flour, if you have a scale use it- I find when measuring flour specially, it is essential. I have a small inexpensive one ($30 or less), it is the most used tool in my kitchen when I bake. The scale converts grams into ounces, which comes in quite handy when I make recipes found in European cookbooks or web sites. I coat the blueberries in a little (about a tablespoon) of flour mixture before adding them to the batter, I find that step keeps them all from sinking to the bottom.
When making muffins, do not overbeat the batter, I whisk the ingredients together separately then combine them and stir just a few times to incorporate the dry and wet ingredients together. After adding the dry ingredients to the flour, use a wooden spoon not a whisk to stir together briefly. Finish combining the ingredients once the blueberries are added- and I know I will sound a little nutty by telling you this, but you should not stir more than 15-20 strokes; it is more like folding than beating and doing this will keep the muffins light and moist. I use a topping of large sugar crystals, this makes the tops of the muffins a little crunchy. When I have it, I use vanilla infused sugar (see photo). I have also used regular sugar which has been infused with vanilla. To make vanilla sugar, fill a jar with sugar, insert a vanilla pod and let it infuse for at least a week; it's great for sweetening coffee too.
12-1/2 ounces cake flour (3 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream (can be substituted with yogurt)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups blueberries, (1 pint)
1/4 cup vanilla sugar for sprinkling tops
paper liners or buttered muffin tins
Makes 18 muffins
Preheat oven to 350 F
1. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl toss blueberries with about 1 tablespoon of flour mixture and set aside.
2. Whisk all wet ingredients together and mix well.
3. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until just barely combined. add blueberries and mix lightly. Do not over mix.
4. With an ice cream scoop fill muffin pan almost all the way to the top. top with sugar generously and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove muffins from pan as soon as they are cool enough to handle. They will keep for 3-4 days covered at room temperature.