Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rainy Days & Blueberry Muffins

I haven’t had much time to blog and it’s not because I’ve been too busy -- far from it. Despite the rainy days and blustery wind, April has suddenly blossomed into spring. I don’t much mind the rain these days as I can see measurable results of its presence everywhere I look. I can look outside and spy blue bells, tulips and daffodils’ swaying underneath a blue-gray sky and it reminds me of how uplifting these colorful natural wonders have on my mood. I’ve enjoyed peering out my kitchen window to take in the thriving multi-colored array of tulips growing in my next door neighbor’s front yard. They’re gorgeous. I even snuck over there and snapped a few photos to use for my blog banner. April has been a time to take it easy. But soon, all of that will change.

Alex’s birthday is coming up in a matter of days. I’ve got cookies to bake and decorate for her entire preschool and also I’ve got a cake to bake for her birthday party on Saturday. Birthdays are always a stressful time for me. While I enjoy baking cakes I always overanalyze the type of cake I should make. I have an idea for a cake and a wonderful tutorial on how to make it {thanks to my dear friend Lori M. who sent me the information – she’s always looking out for me} but it’s always scary to think that I won’t be able to pull it all together in time. I can already tell that May is not going to be as relaxing as April and that’s okay. Sometimes I need frantic moments like these to put a little pep in my step.

Today I’m making Chicken Noodle Soup for my girls who have had runny noses and sore throats. While preparing the soup, I suddenly got the urge to make blueberry muffins. I can’t for the life of me understand why amid all the chaos of pre-birthday planning and baking that I would want to do this. Maybe its pre-birthday jitters – I can’t sit still; must bake. Or, maybe it’s just the quiet tapping of rain on my windows that’s inspired me to spend time in the kitchen. Either way, I’m glad to be cranking up the oven – it’s been too long.

I found this recipe in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook so I gave it a whirl. I’m so glad that I did. These muffins are moist and not too sweet – just right for those afternoon sugar cravings.

Blueberry Muffins
Recipe: Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

1 stick {1/2 cup} unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups flour, plus more for pan
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries {I used frozen}
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Generously butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Working over the bowl, toss the blueberries in a fine sieve with about 1 ½ teaspoons of the flour mixture to lightly coat; set aside the flour mixture and blueberries.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add the reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add milk, beating until just combined; do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn the muffins on their sides in their cups, and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. Wow they look sooo good. Hope little Miss Alex has a super birthday, we'll miss her on May 2nd especially, but hopefully will catch up not to long afterwards.