Friday, July 10, 2009

Blueberry muffins of mehness

So I HAVE been baking this summer, I swear. However, all my photos are on my new laptop, which I can’t hook up to my family’s internet for some reason. Thus, the pictures have been trapped inside my laptop for some time now, sad and crying baked goods tears.

That’s the reason why I made these muffins in the beginning of time (read: last month) and am just getting around to posting about them now. I was hankering to make something and, like many Alaskans, my mom almost always has frozen Alaskan blueberries on hand. Wild Alaskan blueberries are almost nothing like those giant on-steroids blueberries normal people buy in grocery stores. Alaskan blueberries are much smaller and actually taste like something.

I could be lying right now, how would you know? You’ll just have to come to Alaska and see for yourself.

Anyways, my mom goes out late in summer to pick blueberries with our ferocious dog, Truman. He’s not really ferocious but he is an Australian Shephard, a herding dog. And a lack of a flock of sheep has just about pushed him to the brink of insanity, I think. He regards our family as his sheep and because of this Joe can’t be within three feet of me without Truman frantically nipping at his heels in an attempt to herd Joe away from his precious sheep. And you must remember that Truman has known Joe for FIVE YEARS and this behavior is actually quite tame for a psycho herding beast. I feel totally safe walking Truman because I know if a stranger so much as looked at me wrong, Truman would lovingly tear off their face.

Where was I? Blueberries. We had a bunch of ‘em. I had heard good things about the Barefoot Contessa recipe for blueberry muffins. One girl told me that they were more like cupcakes than muffins and that’s all I needed to hear because all I heard was CUPCAKES.

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins by Barefoot Contessa


12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 half-pints fresh blueberries, picked through for stems


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 16 paper liners in muffin pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed. Fold in the blueberries with a spatula and be sure the batter is completely mixed.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup just over the top, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a cake tester comes out clean.

These were good but not phenomenal, I thought. This could be totally my fault since I subbed plain yogurt for sour cream but with the 900 tablespoons of butter, it’s not like these were exactly lacking fat. I would probably add more blueberries next time (remember, Alaskan blueberries are smaller) and maybe a bit of orange zest or something. They would also be improved with a streusel topping. Then again, just about everything is improved with a streusel topping. Muffins? Better! Cake? Better! Vegetables? Better!


Oh, and ferocious Pup? He's very handsome. Exhibit A:

Ferocious pup is also not a pup, he's now around eleven. He hasn't slowed down at all and may actually be more convinced that he shall one day kill the evil man who brings our mail. My mom recently discovered that he likes to eat fish oil pills so I've been feeding them to him every day and then telling my mom he will never die and his brain will remain sharp until the sun implodes. And then my mom cries a little.

Alright. Next up are some goodies I made while visiting my dad, who lives in a more secluded part of Alaska so there was even more time to bake goodies. I reeeeeeeeally liked a few of the things I made so stay tuned.