Friday, August 19, 2011

Spiced Blueberry Muffins

It was an average Wednesday.  I was at gathering supplies for the weekend at The Pig, when a craving for blueberry muffins hit me like a ton of bricks.  Wham-o.  I hightailed it back to the produce section and got a pint of blueberries that looked purty.  I don't always ask for inspiration.  Sometimes it just comes over me.  In the aisles of Piggly Wiggly.  So be it.

I scoured cookbooks and recipes online for a muffin recipe that a) I had all the ingredients for---a ridiculous amount of recipes use sour cream, which I'm sure makes for a moist muffin but wasn't in my fridge and b) excited me just a bit.  I stumbled upon a cinnamon blueberry muffin recipe that seemed a little different. Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices.  I just think it warms you right up, even if it is 90º outside and you don't need actual warming.  It's a soul thing.  Cinnamon warms my soul.  It's a happy ingredient.  Then I remembered a recipe for blueberry buckle or cobbler or what-have-you that used coriander.  I haven't had much experience with coriander, but I do know it can be used in savory and sweet dishes.  I thought it was worth a shot in my muffins.

It starts off with blueberries.  Duh.  Rinsed and picked through for stems.  Stems don't belong in muffins.

The batter is fairly simple.  Flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, butter, an egg, cinnamon, and coriander.

Melt the butter and let it cool a bit.  We don't want to scramble the egg when we add it.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and the coriander in a large bowl.

I decided to add the ingredients to the butter in stages to give it a little time to cool.  First, whisk in the brown sugar.  I think the brown sugar gives it a little something special.

Then in with the milk.  This definitely made it cool enough to not worry about scrambled egg batter.

Und egg.  

After you whisk in the egg, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.

You can see all the fragrant spices dotting the batter, and the brown sugar makes it a little darker than your average batter.

Add in your rinsed and dried blueberries.  Fold them in gently.  

Folding keeps some air in the batter and prevents us from being too harsh with the blueberries.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners.  Mine were birthday themed, but it's not anybody's birthday.  Go figure.  Use an ice cream scoop to transfer batter to the pan.  Fill each tin to the top of the liner.

I love a recipe that doesn't have leftover batter.  I may have stuck my finger in there to give it a taste.

It should fill exactly 12 muffin tins.  Bake at 400º.  The recipe gave me a time of 25-30 minutes, but mine were done in 23 minutes.  Ovens are finicky.  Just make sure a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Yummmm.  Golden and warm.

Even better, ready to be eaten!

Blueberry muffins are a nice change of pace from the usual cereal or toast.  There's about a thousand different ways to jazz them up, but I really like what the spices bring to the table.  You can taste the cinnamon and coriander, and they play nicely with the slight tartness of the blueberries.  

Spiced Blueberry Muffins (makes 12)

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp coriander
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and dried

  • Preheat oven to 400º.  Position rack to middle of oven.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
  • Whisk together butter, brown sugar, milk and egg until combined.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and coriander in a large bowl.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Fold in blueberries gently.  Use ice cream scoop to fill muffin cups to top of the liner.
  • Bake 22-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

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