Thursday, May 3, 2012

What's Cooking? {Blueberry Cream Muffins and a Cooking Lesson!}

Yesterday, I posted a recipe for Sour Cream Chip Muffins.   Since then, I've made that recipe again using blueberries instead of chocolate chips.  As much as I love chocolate, I have to say that I liked the blueberry muffins even better!!!  They were The Best!  Because my blueberries were sour, I added a bit more sugar.  Here's my new recipe:

Blueberry Cream Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups sour cream
10 TBSP butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
About 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In another large bowl, combine the egg, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla.
3. Stir into dry ingredients by hand just until batter is combined.  Do not over mix!
4. Fold in blueberries.
5. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full of batter.
6. Bake at 350 degree F (pre-heated) oven for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
7. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack.  Yield: 2 dozen.

A Lesson on Mixing Muffin Batter

Were you surprised that you mix the sugar in with the dry ingredients instead of creaming it with the butter for this recipe?  I was.  I am more familiar with recipes that start with creaming the butter and sugar together, so I was interested to find the following explanation in my Taste of Home cookbook:

When a quick bread (or muffin) is made with solid fat, like softened butter or shortening (which I hope you wouldn't use!!), the fat and sugar are creamed together just like when making a cake.    Then the eggs, dry ingredients and any liquid are added.  This method incorporates air bubbles into the fat, resulting in a cake like texture.

When a quick bread (or muffin) is made with liquid fat (melted butter or oil), the fat, eggs and liquid are first combined then stirred into the dry ingredients just until moistened, leaving a few lumps.  Overmixing will result in a tough baked product.

With either method, ingredients such as nuts, chocolate chips and dried or fresh fruits are folded in at the end.

So, now you know the secret to mixing up some light and fluffy muffins!  :)

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