Go With the Flo? I know, original right? But no matter how much I look at it, it simply feels right. In the literal sense of the phrase, a lot of people turn to the recipes of none other than Ms. Flo Braker because not only is she an institution in the world of baking, her recipes always end up tasting so good. Case in point: these muffins. At a glance they look so simple, and they don’t look at all much different from the smorgasbord of other Blueberry Muffins out there, but wait until you taste them. These would go right up to your top three favourite muffin recipes in a blink of an eye. I promise I would never steer you wrong.
Sometimes making Blueberry Muffins can be frustrating for me. I never seem to hit the mark. I’ve encountered a great many tough ones, with a crumb so tight every bite requires a swallow of liquid just to prevent choking. I have also encountered bland, tasteless ones where I tend to just pluck off the blueberries and eat those. But I kept baking because I was fairly determined to find a Blueberry Muffin that I could be proud to have in my repertoire. Let’s face it, what person can rightfully call himself/herself a true baker without having made a decent Blueberry Muffin in his/her life?
Now these muffins. These muffins are pretty darn amazing. They have such a tender crumb which you wouldn’t expect just by looking at them, because they rise up so high and have such round tops. They are ever so moist, with the punchy flavours of blueberry and just the right amount of sweetness. The doughnut topping (or cinnamon-sugar topping) is optional, but those sparkling flecks atop those perfectly round domes take these muffins to a whole different level! Although I’m not a big fan of added sugar on anything, I do have to admit the cinnamon does add another dimension to the flavour of the muffins as a whole. But if you’re like me and would like to enjoy your muffins and only your muffins, simply omit the sugar topping and enjoy with a cup of coffee. You could always top half and leave the other half plain.
How is that for a perfect way to start the morning?
Blueberry Muffins with Doughnut Topping
from Flo Braker’s Baking For All Occasions, page 60 | Makes 12 muffins
For the Muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup cold, well-shaken buttermilk**
3/4 stick (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and tepid
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blueberries, picked over for stems
For the Doughnut Topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 sticks (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1. Centre rack in the oven and preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray, then flour the cups, tapping out the excess flour. Or butter and flour the cups or line with fluted paper or foil liners.
2. To make the muffins: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk, butter, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla until combined.
4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Do not beat until smooth, or the muffins will have a coarse texture.
5. Using the spatula, fold in the blueberries just enough to incorporated them into the batter. Fill the muffin cups three-fourths full.
6. Bake the muffins until they are golden, spring back when gently pressed in the centre, and are starting to pull away from the muffin cups, 18 to 23 minutes. Cool in pan until they can be handled, about 10 to 15 minutes.
7. To make the Doughnut Topping: In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.
8. While the muffins are still warm, gently remove them from the pan one at a time. Dip the tops in melted butter, roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat, and then place on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Storing: Store at room temperature under a cake dome for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 10 days in a sturdy covered container. Thaw at room temperature 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
*You can substitute half the amount of all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour to add a little wholesome goodness to the muffins.
**No buttermilk? No problem! Learn how to make homemade buttermilk here. It just takes two household staples.
And as a final note, I dare you to resist this:
Tough, isn’t it?