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Recipe: Blueberry Muffins – Alabama NewsCenter

Recipe: Blueberry Muffins - Alabama NewsCenter

For years I heard relatives rave about the blueberry muffins my grandmother—Nana, as she is affectionately known—makes. Maybe you remember her Chocolate Pound Cake or Ice box Fruitcake. But somehow in all those years I was never lucky enough to be around when she made them.

Honestly, these are Aunt Peggy’s blueberry muffins—at least, according to Nana. She said the recipe came from her sister-in-law Peggy. But isn’t that just the thing about the best recipes… they’re shared so often.

A quick, delicious breakfast that your family will love. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

Regardless of the specific lineage, I can definitely say that these muffins definitely live up to the hype. No, Nana didn’t make them for me, but she did give me the recipe. And now I share it with you.

These start with simple, simple ingredients that you probably already have at home. That makes them pretty good in and of itself.

Now, don’t tell Nana or Aunt Peggy, but I’ve made some minor adjustments that I think really go over it.

Let’s start by talking about how these come together.

When baking, you often hear about mixing methods. That’s exactly what you’d expect – the methods by which you mix ingredients together. You may have heard of some people like the cream method, the cookie method, the laminated dough method or the muffin method. The latter is what we will focus on.

What is the muffin method?

Also known as the two-bowl method, where you mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet ingredients in another. Then carefully fold the two together until the dry ingredients are just moist. We don’t want to mix too much when using the muffin method. Mixing flour with wet ingredients creates gluten. Gluten is what makes bread thick and chewy. We don’t want thick and chewy muffins, so we want to create as little gluten as possible when mixing. This means that we want to stir the batter as little as possible. Even a few lumps are okay with this method. Just don’t mix too much.

The recipe yields 12 Blueberry Muffins. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

Does coating the berries in flour really help keep them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin?

For years I’ve been told that if you toss berries like these blueberries in flour before adding them to the batter, they won’t sink to the bottom of the muffin or cake. I’ve done it religiously as a result, but almost always still had problems with sinking. My first batch of muffins for this post did the same.

So I decided to do a little research and found This article from Stella Parks at Serious Eats. She tested the theory and found that it was, in her words, “total bunk.” She explains that it is of course not possible to cover berries with flour to escape gravity. She does say that it seemed to prevent the berries from leaking into the muffin batter.

To keep berries from sinking to the bottom, she suggests mixing the batter without the berries first. Then put a spoonful of the berry-free batter in the bottom of each of the muffin tins/cups. Then carefully fold the berries into the batter and fill the muffin tins with the berry-filled batter. I tested her theory and it seems to be pretty solid.

If you’re in a hurry or don’t care if your berries sink, you can definitely skip this step.

Honestly, if I’m making these just for the fam, I’ll do the same and skip the extra work. But if you’re looking for pretty muffins where those berries seem to defy the theory of physics and float beautifully in the muffin, this is the trick to use.

Take this to the next level…

These muffins are incredibly tasty in their original form. But you all know me, and you know I can’t be left alone well enough.

If desired, spread softened butter on each side of a halved muffin. (Stacey Little/Southern Bite)

So I spiced it up with a little almond extract to really make that blueberry flavor sing and added a generous sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top of the batter to give the muffin tops a little extra crunch when baked. I didn’t think the muffins tasted like almond; the extract only made them taste more like blueberries. But I suppose the strength of the flavoring or extract you’re using can have an effect on that. So if you’re sensitive to that flavor, you can always leave it out or just start with a smaller amount.

blueberrymuffins

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • turbinado sugar* (optional)

instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake/muffin liners or spray the cups with nonstick cooking spray. Put aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and almond.
  4. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and fold it together until the dry ingredients are just moist. Do not mix for too long. A few lumps are okay.
  5. Fold in the blueberries.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups.
  7. Sprinkle the tops with a little turbinado sugar, if desired.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

Comments:

*Regular granulated sugar also works. There just won’t be that much crunch.

See the text above for help keeping your blueberries from sinking to the bottom of your muffins.

Frozen blueberries will work – rinse well and let dry before adding them to the batter.

This recipe originally appeared on SouthernBite.com. For more tasty recipes, check out the website or check out ”The Southern Bite Cookbook.”