ANNOUNCING: Change is part of life, and apparently, it's part of blogging, too. As of September 5, 2013, I'm merging The Virtual Goody Plate with Disco Mom Takes on the World and whatever else may henceforth spill from my fingertips (and kitchen), into one great new blog. I hope you'll join me there in exclaiming, "THIS IS AWESOMELAND."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cook's Illustrated Blueberry Muffins (a.k.a. BEST MUFFINS EVER)

The fact that these muffins come from Cook's Illustrated should tell you two things:
1) These muffins will be amazingly outstandingly awesome.
2) These muffins will have at least three more components or steps, take more time, and dirty more dishes than most muffin recipes.
But they're worth it. And these days I don't say that lightly. I'm tired. I'm busy. Sometimes I'm frustrated. I don't have consecutive hours of time for baking like I used to. So it's got to count.

Here's another thing I don't say lightly: these muffins are perfect. Most likely you'll never see another blueberry muffin recipe on this blog because this is the perfect one. I love them. I love them. I love them. Extra steps and all. (I did rearrange the directions a little to help streamline the process a bit.)Cook's Illustrated Blueberry Muffins
Lemon-Sugar Topping
1/3 cup sugar
2-3 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon

2 cups (about 10 ounces) fresh blueberries, picked over
1 1/8 cups (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups (12½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour (if you have a scale weigh it, don't measure it - it's worth it)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk *
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
*If buttermilk is unavailable, substitute 3/4 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk.

1. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon (I used my potato masher) several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

3. For the topping: Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.

4. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.

5. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until combined, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not over mix.)

6. Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly).

7. EXTRA STEP ALERT: Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using small spoon, gently swirl berry filling into batter. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.

8. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 15 to 19 minutes (don't over bake), rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving. Makes 12 muffins
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated


Emily said...

Why oh why did you move away?

Shells said...

This is exactly why my Cook's Illustrated subscription will never lapse. Did you make the Ultimate Banana Bread from their last issue? It really was the Ultimate, and I am making them again tonight. These look fantastic.

kat said...

i wanted to make these, but then i wasn't sure all the steps would be worth it. i should have known!

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