21 September 2010

Blueberry Muffins with Doughnut Topping

For months I've been hearing the name Flo Braker. She's the baking expert of choice for many of my favorite food bloggers so eventually I knew I'd have to try out some of her recipes. She seems like a bit of a low-key go- to baker for expertly written, meticulous recipes and general baking knowledge. Given one of the underlying purposes of my blog is to establish some cooking standards, I had an idea of cooking my way though some of Flo's well-tested recipes, figuring she wouldn't lead me astray. 

I started with the very simple blueberry muffin recipe in her Baking for All Occasions book, assuming it would be a good benchmark for the rest of the more complicated baked goods on offer in this book (Miniature Financier Teacups with Candied Kumquats anyone?).

The result was a classic muffin recipe that I'd go to again, made special with the ingeniously named "doughnut topping". Who among us hasn't encountered the classic dilemma -- muffin or doughnut? Here you can have both in one! Dipping the warm muffins in butter and cinnamon-sugar might seem a little overboard, but it takes a simple blueberry muffin and makes it something crave-worthy. (These are best eaten warm, if possible.) 
Blueberry Muffins with Doughnut Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold buttermilk, shaken well
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blueberries 

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or combination half cinnamon and ground cardamom
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease with butter and dust with flour a 12-cup standard muffin pan, OR, line with paper or foil liners. 

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the buttermilk, butter, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mix and stir gently with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just moistened, making sure to not over-mix. Carefully fold in in blueberries till just incorporated. 

Fill muffin cups three-fourths of the way full, and bake muffins till they are golden, approximately 18-23 minutes.  Cool in pan 10 minutes till they can be handled. 

While the muffins are cooking, mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. While the muffins are still warm, dip the tops in the melted butter one at a time and roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat, and then place on a wire rack. 

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