Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Muffins

Today is December 7 - a date which will live in infamy. It also happens to be my birthday. When I woke up this morning, Rory, my newly minted husband, asked what I wanted to do to start off my day. My first inclination was to go to the Dupont Farmers Market, like I do most Sundays, and then stop by Starbucks or Teaism for a cup of something warm and a delicious morning treat. But looking out the window I determined that I was entirely too wimpy to venture out into the frigid day. If I wanted a sweet treat, I was better off making it myself. The clear choice - muffins.

I am a life long muffin lover. I'm sure I get this predilection from my father, who not only would bring home batches every weekend from Perkins, our favorite local bakery in Cincinnati, but has also been known to do his fare share of muffin experimentation. I love them all - bright lemon poppies, tart cranberry-orange, nubby oat bran. But, if we're all being honest here, I think we can agree that nothing compares to a blueberry muffin, all crumbly golden and speckled with luscious pockets of purple-blue. My absolute favorite muffins are those treated to the added decadence of a shower of crunchy, sugary streusel. And seeing as it's my birthday, I figure I get a calorie pass today.

So, here's my little birthday present to myself, a combination of versions I've tried over the years. It doesn't have to be your birthday for you to enjoy them, too - just a day in need of a little sweetness.

Blueberry Muffins with Brown Sugar Streusel
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup butter) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup dried blueberries

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter

Note: this recipe makes 9 large or 18 regular muffins.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in muffin tins.

In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla, sour cream and milk. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low until just mixed. Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the blueberries.

In a small bowl, mix together streusel ingredients with a fork or your fingers, until crumbly.

Scoop the batter into prepared muffins pans, filling each cup just to the top. Sprinkle streusel mixture evenly over muffins. Bake for 30 minutes for large muffins, 18 minutes for small muffins, or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Anonymous said...

These blueberry muffins were outstanding! Everyone enjoyed them. We can be your lab rats any day! Thanks!

Colleen/FoodieTots said...

Happy Birthday, belatedly! This looks like a great way to treat yourself.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes, Colleen!