“Perfect” Blueberry Muffins

Autumn is coming! I felt it today as the little droplets of rain hit my cheeks. Smelled it in the air. That crisp, cool fall-y feeling. My favorite season. Baking season. Something about the change in weather at the end of August makes me want to curl up in an oversized sweater with a new book and some baked goods.  So, I decided to use up some blueberries and make some muffins. I’ve done lots of different blueberry muffins in the past. Some jumbo sized with strudel topping. Mini muffins in cute little wrappers. Bran blueberry. Today I just wanted to keep it simple. Nothing flashy – just an easy, preferably one-bowl blueberry muffin. I found it.

Perfectly Golden Muffins

Perfect Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Makes 9 to 10 standard muffins

5 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon  salt
3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t bother defrosting)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. Gently fold in your blueberries. The dough will be quite thick closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more, so you might only need 9 instead of 10 cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (you know, except for blueberry goo). Let cool on rack or serve warm with a generous pat of butter.

Now, if you’re looking for a decadent sweet muffin (cake) this isn’t it. Nothing about this is really going to bowl you over with amazing-ness. However, the texture is light and fluffy, the lemon gives it a nice fresh flavor and lack of overpowering sweetness in the cake means the blueberries really shine in these muffins. Another plus for me is that this recipe makes just enough for my family to enjoy for a couple breakfasts/snacks — not so many that we’re sick of them and choking them down a week later. But the best part is you can make it in one bowl – they’ll be in the oven in about 7 minutes and they come out looking perfectly brown and craggy. Slap some butter on it when warm and oooooh yum!

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