Blueberries and Cream Muffins

I think it is time for a recipe to lighten the mood.  I will post Part 2 next Monday, but in the meantime, you know you want to whip up a batch of muffins for your sweetie tomorrow morning.

I love blueberries…and huge bonus…they are GOOD FOR US!  Every summer, I stock up on the quart size blueberries when they come into season.  I used to freeze them individually on a cookie sheet before storing them in a ziploc bag tucked in the freezer.  I was racing around a few summers back and didn’t have time to get out the cookie sheets and freeze them before storing them.  I literally placed the plastic quart full of blueberries into the freezer, and scampered out for the rest of the day.  I was dreading what was facing me.   I thought I would be dealing with a ‘block’ of blueberries, chiseling them apart.  Nope….they didn’t freeze together.  They were perfect individually frozen blueberries.   

BTW….have you ever eaten a frozen blueberry???  Pure bliss…..and a great substitute for candy.

I dumped the berries into a plastic storage bag, and then put it back into the plastic container that they came in.  They are perfect for stacking in a freezer, and when you pull it out it is a perfect 2 cup portion for your recipes.

I still have at least a half-dozen containers to get through before I start the process again in a few months!!

When making this recipe, I use frozen blueberries.  I take them out when I am mixing up the rest of the batter.  They will still be slightly frozen when you fold them into the batter.  I do this because fresh berries are fragile and can break apart, turning your batter blue. 

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand….and let’s be honest… I never do, I make my own by using a combination of milk and white vinegar.  Just fill your measuring cup with milk, leaving enough room for a Tablespoon or two of vinegar.  Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, and presto….you have a buttermilk substitute.

Just like the carrot & zucchini muffins, you can easily turn these muffins into bread.  Pour the batter into 2 8×4 loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean; or until they spring back when using the fingertip test.

MANGIA….MANGIA

Blueberries and Cream Muffins
{adapted from Passion for Baking}

Ingredients:

 2 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup vegetable
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp each pure lemon and orange extract
5 cups, all-purpose flour (this is approximate)
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup sour cream
2 cups blueberries
Sugar crystals  (optional)

 Directions:

 *  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Make sure your oven rack is set in the middle position.

*  Line a 24 cup standard muffin pan (or a 12 cup jumbo pan) with paper liners.  Place muffin pan on a parchment lined baking sheet.

 *  In large mixing bowl, blend sugar with oil and unsalted butter.  Briskly add in eggs, vanilla, and other extracts.  Fold in 4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Blend somewhat before next blending in buttermilk and sour cream.  Batter should be very thick; if not, add in more flour.  Gently fold in blueberries with a spatula, trying not to break them apart.

 *  Using a large muffin (or ice cream) scoop, scoop a large amount of batter into prepared muffin cups, loading them as full as full as you can.  Sprinkle sugar crystals on top of muffin tops.

 *  Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees; then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until muffins are golden brown and spring back when gently pressed with fingertip, about 14-16 more minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

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