to chase away the blues

Just the other morning I woke up in the mood to make muffins. Fresh, hot muffins to bring to my coworkers to brighten up the day and make the morning a little more bearable. I searched all over for a ‘quick, easy muffin recipe’ and realize that the time it was taking me to look one up (and then to make them) wouldn’t fit into my tight-due-to-alarm-snoozing morning schedule. I grabbed my ‘add water!’ packet of blueberry mix (bought in a fit of bogo maddness) out of the pantry and realized I forgot how strange it is to have people compliment you on something you stirred water into with a spoon for 2 minutes. And though great for a quick muffin emergency—what, you don’t have those now and then?–the look of those small round polka dot like blueberries that came out of the packet reminded me more of large poppy seeds than those wonderful, plump things that actually grow in fields and burst when they bake. So the next morning I was at it again, blueberry baking the way Martha would have wanted, with sugar and butter and a carton overflowing with sweet, tart blueberries. It made a thick, doughy batter that only gets better as it bakes. There’s something wonderful about messy purple swirls in a homemade blueberry cupcake, something lovely and wild. Top with a lemon glaze to put these over the edge—enjoy!

Best blueberry muffins
from smittenkitchen from Cook’s Illustrated

5 tbs unsalted butter , softened
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I used honey vanilla bean greek yogurt–yum!)
½ tsp grated lemon zest
cups flour
tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen, no need to thaw)
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray.
  • Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest.
  • Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears.
  • Gently fold in your blueberries. The dough will be quite thick, closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (more like 10 mins for minis), until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean. Let cool on rack or enjoy hot.

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