Tricks of the Muffin Trade

Let’s continue the week’s topic with some muffin basics—things you need to know to succeed in the muffin-making world.

First, how to make nice, high-domed muffins like the ones at your favorite bakery—it’s easy. Most recipes call for your muffin tin to be 2/3 full, which is just not going to suffice. Fill it to nearly full instead. If you end up with empty tins, just fill them half full with water before baking. You also want to kick the heat up a bit. Yes, it’s controversial. Most recipes call for a 350 oven or 375, but if you set it to 425 you’ll see a big difference. The higher temp creates more steam, which puffs the top of the muffin and quickly sets it at the same time. The key is: after 6-7 minutes, lower the temperature back down.

Most attempts at really good muffins fail because of over-mixing. For your best shot at success, always mix the dry ingredients together, then mix the wet ingredients together then combine the 2 when you are ready to bake. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon, and don’t even think about an electric mixer. Most importantly only mix until just combined! Keep it lumpy, people, you’ll thank me.

Don’t forget that you can quell your craving for muffins easily by combining and storing the dry ingredients. Big time saver down the road! For some tips on storing flours, here’s a great resource over at Ellenskitchen.com

Need something to make them a bit more festive? Hop on over to candylandcrafts.com and get some muffin cups—they make em in fun colors and patterns

Okay, on to today’s recipe. The muffin classic—blueberry.

BLUEBERRY MUFFINSblueberryorg.jpg
Best with fresh bloobs, but do what you have to do.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 3/4 cups blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. Fit your mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolks, and vanilla; mix to combine. Reduce speed to low and add some of the flour mixture, then add some of the milk—alternating until done. Make sure to begin and end with flour. Gently fold in berries by hand. Pour batter into muffin tins and bake until light golden, 20-25 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pan, on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; place directly on the rack, and let cool completely.

YUM!

Use the baking variations stated above if you want a higher domed muffin. For mavericks only.

For some great information on blueberries, hit wildblueberries.com. They’ve got recipes, lists of the health benefits of blueberries and more on their site. . . and I think it’s funny when a food gets it’s own dot com.