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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blue Blueberry Muffins

Ah, these will be fun to tell about. A few Saturdays ago our family went to the library. The girls were looking at movies and right by the kid-vid section is the "Popular Reading" section (= mindless paperbacks), so I was browsing those. Suddenly a set of brightly colored spines caught my eye, with names like Carrot Cake Murder, Lemon Meringue Murder, Strawberry Shortcake Murder and Blueberry Muffin Murder, all by Joanne Fluke. What, what? Sounded like my kind of murder mysteries. Not knowing the order, I chose Blueberry Muffin and checked it out.

Hannah Swensen is our heroine in the series. A la Nancy Drew she's just a normal smart girl who constantly happens upon dead bodies in and around her small northern Minnesota town, and takes it upon herself to solve the murders more quickly - and more cleverly - than the local police. But unlike Nancy Drew, Hannah is a career woman who owns and runs a bakery, The Cookie Jar, in town. So amidst her amateur sleuthing she is making cookie deliveries and catering orders, and has important conversations in her - and others' - kitchens. Naturally, people rave about her cooking, and occasionally at the end of a chapter, Hannah includes her recipe for the mentioned treat.

It's an adorable idea - murder mysteries flavored with recipes. I wanted badly to get hooked on the whole series. The characters are cute enough. But the writing is truly horrible. Contrived, predictable, I solved the murder myself well before the end. The dialogue was almost painful to read - nobody talks like that! - like a middle school play. But I managed to finish the book and copy all the recipes. And they're pretty good. I even checked out a few others from the library, just to copy the recipes.

So here are the title muffins - Hannah's "Famous" Blue Blueberry Muffins. The key, she tells her business partner Lisa - as if her partner wouldn't know the recipes of the bakery!!! - is to put blueberry pie filling in the batter. That way, the whole muffin tastes like blueberry, not just a few lucky bites. Not bad, Hannah. I'll give her this, she can make a muffin.

Blue Blueberry Muffins
3/4 cup butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (no need to thaw if they're frozen)
1/2 cup blueberry pie filling
2 cups plus 1 T flour
1/2 cup milk

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup softened butter

1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease bottoms only of 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. (This makes 18 muffins or 12 muffins and 1 mini loaf to prepare your pans depending on what you want.) Melt the butter. Mix in the sugar. Then add the beaten eggs, baking powder, and salt, and mix thoroughly.

2. Put 1 T flour in a plastic bag with your cup of blueberries. Shake gently to coat the berries, and leave them in the bag for now.

3. Add half the remaining flour (1 cup) to your bowl and mix it in with half the milk. Then add the rest of the flour and milk and mix thoroughly.

4. Add 1/2 cup blueberry pie filling to your bowl and mix it in. (Your dough will turn purpley-blue!) When your dough is thoroughly mixed, fold in the flour-coated blueberries.

5. Fill the muffin tins three-quarters full and set them aside. If you have leftover batter you can make one mini loaf (tea bread) or 6 more muffins in another pan.

6. For the crumb topping, mix the sugar, flour and butter in a small bowl with two knives, a pastry cutter or your clean fingers. Sprinkle crumb topping over your muffins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (use toothpick to check if done in middle.) Tea bread should cook about 10 minutes longer than the muffins.

While your muffins are baking, divide the rest of the blueberry pie filling into 1/2 cup portions (in baggies or paper cups) and freeze for next time you want to make these!

Recipe from Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke


Just Katy said...

That is a great idea! I may need to try both the recipe and the book. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

My son looooves blueberries. If I hadn't dropped a small box of them at the grocery check-out today, I might be able to make them (too lazy to get another box) :-)

Great blog - I am always looking for some good desserts!

kat said...

now i'm wondering what happened to the rest of the can of blueberry pie filling.

Disco Mom said...

kat - are you talking about your own can or the can you use for this recipe? Because as you can see, Hannah tells us at the end of the recipe what to do with the leftover filling :)

Celeste Elaine said...

Where did those blueberries come from? Straight from Wonka?

These muffins look delicious, if slightly less healthy than other types.


Abby said...

You might want to check out the Diane Mott Davidson culinary mysteries. They also have recipes, some of which I've tried and enjoyed.

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