Recipe: Blueberry Muffins – Alabama NewsCenter

For years, I heard family members rave about the blueberry muffins my grandmother – Nana, as she’s affectionately known – makes. You might remember games Chocolate Pound Cake steed Icebox Fruitcake. Somehow though, for all those same years, I was never fortunate enough to be around when she made them.

Now, truth be told, these are Aunt Peggy’s Blueberry Muffins – at least, according to Nana. She said the recipe came from her sister-in-law, Peggy. But isn’t that just the thing about the best recipes… they’re shared so much.

A quick, delicious breakfast your family will love. (Stacey Little/Southern Bite)

Regardless of the particular lineage, I can say for sure these muffins certainly live up to the hype. Well, Nana didn’t make them for me, but she did give me the recipe. And now, I’m sharing it with y’all.

These start with basic, simple ingredients you probably already have on hand. That, in and of itself, makes them pretty great.

Now, don’t tell Nana or Aunt Peggy, but I made a few minor tweaks that I think really take them over the top.

Let’s start by talking about how these come together.

In baking, you often hear about mixing methods. Those are just what you’d expect – the methods by which you mix ingredients together. You may have heard of some people like the creaming method, the biscuit method, the laminated dough method or the muffin method. That last one is what we’re going to focus on.

What is the muffin method?

Also known as the two-bowl method, it’s where you mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl and all the wet ingredients together in another. Then, you carefully fold the two together until the dry ingredients are just moistened. We do not want to over-mix when using the muffin method. Mixing flour with wet ingredients creates gluten. Gluten is what makes bread dense and chewy. We don’t want dense and chewy muffins, so we want to create as little gluten as possible when mixing them. That means we want to stir the batter as little as possible. Even a few lumps are OK with this method. Just don’t over-mix.

The recipe yields 12 Blueberry Muffins. (Stacey Little/Southern Bite)

Does coating the berries in flour actually help to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin?

For years, I’ve been told that tossing berries like these blueberries in flour before adding them to the batter will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin or cake. I’ve religiously done it as a result but almost always still had trouble with them sinking. My first batch of muffins for this post did the same thing.

So I decided to do a little research and found this article from Stella Parks at Serious Eats. She tested the theory and found it to be, in her words, “total bunk.” She explains that, of course, coating berries in flour doesn’t allow them to escape the power of gravity. She does say that it seemed to keep the berries from bleeding into the muffin batter.

To keep berries from sinking to the bottom, she instead suggests mixing the batter together without the berries first. Then put a spoonful of the berry-less batter into the bottom of each of the muffin liners/cups. Then gently fold the berries into the batter and finish filling the muffin cups with the berry-filled batter. I tested her theory and it seems to be pretty solid.

If you’re in a hurry or don’t care if your berries sink, you can certainly skip this step.

Honestly, if I’m just making these for the fam, I’ll do the same and skip the extra work. But if you’re jonesing for pretty muffins where those berries seem to defy the theory of physics and float beautifully in the muffin, this is the trick to use.

Take these to the next level…

These muffins are incredibly delicious in their original form. But y’all know me, and you know I can’t leave well enough alone.

If desired, spread softened butter on each side of a halved muffin. (Stacey Little/ Southern Bite)

So, I jazzed these up with a little almond extract to really make that blueberry flavor sing and added a generous sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top of the batter to give the muffin tops a little extra crunch once baked. I didn’t find that the muffins tasted like almond; the extract just made them taste more blueberry-ey. But I suppose the strength of the flavoring or extract you use might have an effect on that. So, if you’re sensitive to that flavor, you can always leave it out or just start with a smaller amount.

Blueberry Muffins

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • turbinado sugar* (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake/muffin liners or spray the cups with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and almond.
  4. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and fold together until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not over-mix. A few lumps are OK.
  5. Fold in the blueberries.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups.
  7. Sprinkle the tops with a little turbinado sugar, if desired.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.

Notebook

*Regular granulated sugar works, too. There just won’t be as much crunch.

To keep your blueberries from sinking to the bottom of your muffins, see the text above for help.

Frozen blueberries will work – rinse very well and allow to dry before adding to the batter.

This recipe originally appeared on SouthernBite.com. For more great recipes, visit the website or check outThe Southern Bite Cookbook.”

Leave a Comment