At the beginning of September, as backpacks are filled and schedules are… filled (I excel at writing), everyone loves a good list. I know I do.
As such, I herby present you with my (highly scientific, expertly curated) list of:
Things That Aren’t Actually So Bad About Summer Ending:
- It’s time to dip back into our really pretty great sweatshirt collection
- Hot coffee, extra splash of cream
- One Pot/Pan meals on repeat
- Foliage/leaf peeps
- Apple picking/pumpkin patch trips
- Elections! Know your day to vote.
- We can stop wearing those “cold shoulder” tops. What even are those?
- Appropriateness of planning toddler Halloween costumes (sidenote, could use some input: garden gnome, fuzzy/non-fuzzy animal, or something else entirely? Might be important to say that my child looks a lot like a garden gnome, but also does a great fish impression.)
- Blueberry muffins as lunch treat and/or after school snack!
Number nine is taking center stage in my house this week. There are still a few (a very few, maybe) good fresh blueberries to be found around these parts, but I also just unearthed a giant bag of frozen berries from earlier this summer (score!), and as such, some fresh, tender-crumbed muffins sounded like just the thing.
These are fluffy and dense with berries, with just a small hit of lemon zest throughout. The tops are wonderfully sugar-crunch-capped, so particularly healthy they are probably not, but particularly delicious? You bet.
Classic Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
These are what I think of as a classic muffin – no interesting flours or healthful swaps/additions, standard technique – and they’re pretty much perfect. Light, tender, cake-like, and full of bursting blueberries in every bite. Don’t skimp on the sugary cap – it’s what sets these apart from other (less good, probably) muffins out there. If you don’t have turbinado sugar, just use regular granulated instead.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 heaping cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (if using frozen, do not thaw)
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar, for topping
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, and lightly spray the lined cups with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer), beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until well combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl between additions.
Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl or cup.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk/vanilla to the batter, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing gently, just until combined.
Add the blueberries and stir gently to distribute. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins (each well will take a heaping 1/4 cup or so). Sprinkle a generous amount of turbinado sugar (or, if you don’t have it, just regular sugar) on top of each muffin before sliding the pan in the oven.
Bake the muffins for about 30 minutes, until domed and golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the biggest muffin comes out clean.
Allow the muffins to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
The muffins are best the day they’re made but will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for 3-4 days.
Makes 12 standard muffins.