You know what Labor Day weekend is great for? Muffins.
Specifically, these muffins. They’re blueberry swirl.
With blueberry season coming to an end and September lurking just around the next Monday, I wanted to celebrate the last big week of blueberries by making a slightly tweaked version of this Cook’s Illustrated recipe. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
After setting your oven to roughly 425 degrees (adjust as needed – my ancient oven usually runs hot so I went with 400), you’ll want to start by mixing up the streusel topping. Melt your butter and let it cool for a minute.
I started with the recommended amounts of dry ingredients (noted below), but found that I needed to add a bit more to achieve the consistency that I wanted. After you’ve mixed your sugars and flour, go ahead and pour in the melted butter.
For me, this was the point at which I realized that I had way too much butter and not nearly enough of my dry ingredients. So I started adding in spoonfuls of the dry stuff – with an extra emphasis on brown sugar, because I thought the original amounts seemed a bit stingy. Eventually, my streusel started to get to the right texture (pictured), although I probably could have added even one or two more spoonfuls of flour.
This turned out to be way easier than I expected. Simply pour your blueberries into a saucepan, add the sugar, and begin heating on medium – but make sure you are stirring the pot constantly. As you stir, mash the softened blueberries against the sides with your spoon.
Note: if you’d like, you can strain the sauce at this point to remove the fruit skins. I don’t mind them, so I left mine alone, but it’s all a matter of personal preference.
Your kitchen is probably starting to resemble a small scale Betty Crocker disaster site at this point. That’s okay. Just ignore it, and try later to trade someone a muffin in exchange for dish duties.
To make the batter, you’re going to need another two mixing bowls. In the smaller bowl, begin by whisking the eggs and all remaining sugar together. I felt weird doing this (“Sugar? Eggs? … Together?”) but trust me that it will all come together in a minute. Once the sugar-egg mix begins to thicken, stir in the oil and melted butter. Last step with the wet ingredients is to add in the milk, yogurt, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
In a larger mixing bowl, whisk your flour, baking soda, and salt together thoroughly before slo-o-o-wly folding in the wet mixture. Remember to scrape the bottom of the bowl as you add, and don’t worry about a few lumps in the batter.
It’s time for the blueberries! I just about doubled the amount called for by Cook’s Illustrated, because I love them, so feel free to add however many you might like. You’ll want to barely mix it all together and let it be a bit lumpy.
Got everything? Let’s start assembling. After adding your cupcake liners of choice (I used shiny silver ones, but also love these white scalloped and royal blue options), fill very nearly to the top with the blueberry batter.
Once swirled and streusel’d, it’s time to pop these into the oven. Bake for 17-18 minutes (until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, or you get impatient), and rotate them halfway through. Turns out that this is exactly enough time to re-watch Beyoncé’s VMAs performance from Sunday. You’re welcome.
17 minutes of joy/disbelief/awe later: you’re still not Blue Ivy, but your muffins are ready!
Let them cool for 5 minutes in the pan before popping out and setting to cool for another 5 on a wire rack. If you can make it the full ten minutes before eating one, you deserve to have another. My treat.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook
Ingredients (makes 1 dozen muffins)
- 3 Tbl granulated sugar
- 3 Tbl packed brown sugar (I used dark, and added about 5T)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup flour (I added another few spoonfuls in addition to the 1/2 c)
- 5 Tbl unsalted butter, warm and melted
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 3 cups blueberries
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/8 cup sugar
- 4 Tbl unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or another single-ingredient cooking oil* (I used grapeseed)
- 1/4 cup low fat milk
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
*The recipe originally calls for vegetable oil, but nearly any other oil (especially single-ingredient ones) are much, much better for you.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- For streusel: Melt the 5 Tbl butter. Allow it to cool as you mix the dry ingredients together with a fork in a small mixing bowl.
- Once the dry ingredients are mixed, slowly add in the butter. If the consistency is off, add spoonfuls of dry ingredients until you achieve the texture you want (dry and crumbly, but with small clusters). Set aside.
- For sauce: Add the blueberries and granulated sugar together in a small saucepan, and set to heat over medium. Stir constantly as the mixture heats, and occasionally mash the warmed blueberries with your spoon.
- The mixture will become runny and then thicken slightly, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- For batter: Get two mixing bowls. In the smaller one, whisk your eggs and remaining granulated sugar together until they begin to thicken. Stir in melted butter and oil. Once mixed, add in milk, yogurt, and vanilla extract.
- In the larger bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the wet mixture to the larger dry bowl, taking care not to over-mix.
- Using a spatula, fold in the remaining 3 cups of blueberries. Again, do not over-mix.
- To assemble: Begin by filling prepared muffin cups nearly to the top with the blueberry batter.
- Next, add a half-spoonful (~1-2 tsp) of blueberry sauce to each muffin cup, and swirl the two together with a toothpick or skewer.
- Generously sprinkle each cup with streusel topping. Brush off the excess topping from the muffin pan to avoid burning.
- Pop muffins in the oven for 17-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs. Rotate your muffin tin halfway through to prevent uneven baking.
- Cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack for another 5.