Sunday, July 10, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

All this week I have been craving blueberry muffins.  Wednesday night, I even had a dream about how blueberry-ie they were as I ate them.  Who dreams about blueberry muffins?

Well, today I finally made them.  And boy are they blueberry-ie.

Often when I am searching for a recipe, I can never find exactly what I want, leading me to tweak something that is close to what I want.  Muffins, along with a lot of baked goods, are finicky products.  On one end, there are the super delicious muffins that are loaded with fat and sugar.  Then on the other end you have "healthy" muffins that, in the process of eliminating fat and sugar, end up tasting like crap.  Finding something in the middle is often difficult.  That being said, I think I have found something that is the best of both worlds.

I started with Alton Brown's Blueberry Muffin recipe because the man is a genius and rarely ever makes bad food.  Then I completely bastardized said recipe that I just said was genius and made it my own.  Here is the recipe after I tweaked it.

Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Start to Finish: 50 minutes

12.5 oz organic whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2/3 cup yogurt (I say plain, but feel free to use vanilla)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1.5 cups blueberries

Start by preheating your oven to 380 degrees.  In a medium bowl, sift together the "dry team" (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices) and set aside.
If you don't know where to find whole wheat pastry flour, try the bulk bin at Whole Foods.  If you don't want to find whole wheat pastry flour, use cake flour, but do not use all purpose or whole wheat flour.  If you do, I promise they won't be as awesome.

Next, whisk together the "wet team" (honey, butter, applesauce, egg, yogurt, vanilla, lemon juice).  
Now, add the dry team to the wet team, reserving a tablespoon of flour.  This is the "muffin method," as Alton has taught me so well.
At this point I recommend you switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon or you'll end up with a bunch of batter stuck in your whisk (not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...).  Just BARELY mix the batter together.  As soon as you stop seeing flour, stop mixing.  Do not try to fix lumps or anything like that.  If you keep mixing you'll make the muffins tough.  Now, take your blueberries and toss them in that extra flour before adding them to the batter.  This will prevent excessive blueberry explosions in the oven.
A quick note about blueberries.  If you want the most incredible muffins you've ever tasted, then you must buy organic blueberries.  Whether you're into organics or not, make an exception.  They taste SO much better than conventional blueberries, I swear you won't regret it.

Minimally incorporate the blueberries into the batter.  Maybe three turns of the whisk, I mean spoon, that's it.
At this point you're probably thinking to yourself, "The batter is too thick.  Did I skip a step?"  The answer is no.  This batter will be very thick.  If you are asking yourself, "Is this blueberry muffin batter or it is this blueberry cookie dough?" then you've done it right.
Spoon your batter into a muffin pan that has been coated in cooking spray.  Do not use cupcake liners.  These are muffins, not cupcakes, so cupcake liners need not apply.
Spoon about 1/3 cup of batter into each muffin tin and throw onto the middle rack of your oven.
Set the timer for 7 minutes, then rotate them in the oven.  Resist the temptation to take them out and start eating them immediately because they will already look amazing.  Bake for 8-10 more minutes.
Sniff the blueberry goodness for a couple minutes, then pop them out onto a cooling rack.  Try not to eat them all in one sitting.



  1. As an honorary (self-appointed) tester for the "Klinker's Test Kitchen" I can attest that these muffins are fabulous and worth the little bit of extra work. I will never go back to my old recipe again. Thanks for a real winner!

  2. ohhh how I love a warm blueberry muffin. I cannot believe how many blueberries are in there when you show the middle!! Look excellent!

  3. Your posts are so much fun to read. I love the rationale that you include in your recipes. I have never read recipes like this... they are entertaining and precise. You could so be a food network star! I will have to go to Whole Foods to get the pastry flour, so I can try this delicious recipe.

  4. No mouth is watering right now. If only I weren't so lazy I would make these. They look AMAZING!!!

  5. I have substituted applesauce for oil when baking. Is the yogurt a substitution or a secret ingredient?

  6. The yogurt was part of the original recipe. This recipe also started out with 1/2 a cup of oil and I changed it to 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup butter. If you substitute 100% applesauce you'll reduce calories, and the muffins will be moist, but they will also be bland. That's another reason why I used melted butter instead of oil. Calorie for calorie butter is going to create much more flavor than oil will.