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Friday, July 26, 2013

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

I have been wanting to do some fruit muffins for awhile now, especially since I have all the fresh (and affordable) fruit I could ever want.  I keep buying way more fruit than Bailey and I can eat anyway.  I have a freezer stocked full of the "leftovers" to use for smoothies, but this is another perfect use for all that extra fruit!

I made these yesterday, which was an amazingly productive day for me.  I made muffins, did dishes, cleaned the whole kitchen, living room, and even straightened Bailey's room.  I managed to sweep and mop and vacuum most of the house on top of all that.  It was also new recipe night and I tried two new recipes.  I was surprised that the kitchen and living room were still even clean when I went to bed after leaving Bailey to her own devices in the living room while I prepared dinner.  She's so good though.  The only mess she made was dumping out a bucket of blocks which were super easy to clean up.

Back to the food.  I found this recipe through a cooking group on Facebook.  One of the ladies from my group posted a picture of them and I had to ask for the recipe.  The original is from Taste of Home.  These muffins are tender and not too sweet with juicy blueberries scattered throughout.  Every bite had at least one blueberry.  The streusel topping is sweet and crunchy and balances the less sweet muffin quite well.

Here are the reasons I like homemade muffins so much:

1) Have you ever had the box (or bag) muffin mix that you buy at the store? They taste good, but there is no actual fruit in them.  They have these little fruit-flavored sugar bits that melt when you bake them and turn into a gooey mess.  I'm not saying they don't taste good... I mean, they're sugar.  I'm just saying that when I'm really looking for a fruit muffin I want real fruit in it, not fruit-flavored sugar pellets.

2) The muffins you buy in the store that are pre-made are... how do I describe it?  I guess I want to say they're soggy.  I used to work at a convenience store and frequently grabbed the Otis Spunkmeyer muffins off the shelf for breakfast when I worked mornings (opening the store at 5:00 in the morning) and I was always disappointed.  Even when they had just been delivered they didn't taste fresh because they had probably been packaged when they were still kind of steamy and the steam got trapped in the plastic wrapper making the muffin soggy.

3) Homemade muffins taste fresh.  They have a crunchy top and a steamy, fruity center.  You actually get to eat them hot fresh out of the oven which is, in a word: heaven.

So if you've never made homemade muffins this is a good fruit muffin to start with.  The batter and streusel topping are both easy to make and if you bake you probably have all of the ingredients (besides maybe the fruit) on hand.  Also, if you want to make these but aren't sure when you'll have the time, you can make them with frozen blueberries so you don't have to worry about the berries going bad.  Give it a go!

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

For the muffins:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract (I added a little extra, about 1/2 tsp extra)
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the streusel topping:
1/2 cup sugar (you could also do 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar to add richness)
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cold and cut into pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease the cups well.

In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer cream the softened butter and sugar together.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.  In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add about half of the flour mixture, then drizzle in the milk, then add the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

Gently fold in the blueberries.

Fill 12 muffin cups about 2/3 full with the batter and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon for the streusel topping.  Add the butter and work it into the mixture with your fingers until it forms crumbles.

Sprinkle the top of each muffin generously with the streusel topping.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan about 5 minutes.  Move the muffins to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Eat and enjoy your delicious muffins!

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