Monday, July 26, 2010

Muffins + Mellowness

After a week of relentless insomnia and heat, I decided last weekend was the perfect time to retreat to the beach.
Gin and tonics were consumed, rays were soaked in, and the healing power of the ocean finally allowed me some rest.  Grandparents and aunties took the early shift and I slept in long and blissfully.  We noshed on Mexican take out and had long family chats. My sister and I even sneaked out and finally saw SATC2, which was as terrible as everyone said it would be, but still delicious in its own irresistible SATC way.  And J dug his heart out in the sand and greeted fellow beach goers with an enthusiastic "HI!" from his wagon.
All in all, it was a lovely respite of a weekend; one that made me feel like expressing my joy through baking.  So, while the family slept and little J and I hung out on Sunday morning, I eyed the baskets on baskets of fresh Maine blueberries in the kitchen, and decided that muffins were in order.  There was a gentle breeze coming in from the ocean, a strong pot of coffee brewing and the Sunday New York Times awaiting us on the kitchen table; what could be better, I figured, than hot, fresh muffins?  My recipe uses slightly too many blueberries in the best possible way... I love when a muffin is just falling apart with fruit... but think about scaling back by a half-cup or so if you like a doughier muffin.  My sister made to-die-for Smitten Kitchen scrambled eggs to go alongside, and this was a heavenly breakfast.  I return to the city ready to stay on a sleeping roll and face the week head on.  That's the power of the beach, family time, and some quality muffins.
Blissful Blueberry Muffins
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cups blueberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1 teaspoon sugar for topping
1) Preheat oven to 375°F.  Grease all of the cups in a 12-cup muffin tin.
2) Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
3) In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together, beating until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well.
4) In stages, beat the dry ingredients and yogurt into the butter-sugar-egg mixture until just incorporated (stir in one third of the flour, followed by one third of the yogurt, until all of both have been mixed in).
5) Fold in the berries. Again, be careful not to over mix -- the secret to light, fluffy muffins is a dough that is just barely mixed together.
6) Distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups in the muffin tin. Sprinkle the tops with just a tad of cinnamon and sugar. Bake until muffins are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure the centers of the muffins are done. Allow to cool at least 5 or 10 minutes before turning the muffins out of the tin.  These are amazing served warm from the oven with a little smear of jam.

1 comment:

  1. Why is it that for every sleepness night, it takes two nights of hard sleep to get back to normal? Why does caffeine keep some people up and not others? Why does sitting at the beach tire out kids and relax adults so much more than sitting anywhere else? How are the bonds of family made stronger even when siblings and children live in different cities? Oh, the delicious questions of summer.