Homemade Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

If you’re like me and enjoy skipping the boxed mix for cakes, cupcakes, brownies and¬†muffins, when you can ūüėČ but prefer a recipe to help you out a bit, then you need to know about Cook’s Illustrated.

If you’re not familiar¬†it’s¬†published by the people from America’s Test Kitchen, so there is a lot of trial and error and science behind their cooking, (perfect for my Hubby who loves to know how and why things work) We’ve tried several of their recipes and haven’t had a bad one yet!

So here is the Cook’s Illustrated recipe for:

Best Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

Streusel Topping

  • 3tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • Pinch table salt
  • 1/2cup plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour¬†(3 1/2 ounces)
  • 5tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and warm

I find that when I’m baking and I measure by weight, that my recipes turn out better because the ingredients are more precise.¬† You can use a food scale, just be sure to tare the scale after you place whatever receptacle you’ll be placing your ingredients in on it.

Instructions for the topping:

Stir together sugar, brown sugar, salt, and flour in small bowl until combined. Drizzle with warm butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened and mixture forms large chunks with some pea-sized pieces throughout. Set aside.

Muffins

  • 2cups fresh blueberries (about 10 ounces), washed and picked over
  • 1 1/8cups sugar (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon
  • 2 1/2cups¬†unbleached all-purpose flour¬†(12 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 1/2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1teaspoon table salt
  • 2large eggs
  • 4tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4cup vegetable oil
  • 1cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2teaspoons vanilla extract

*Did you know that if you don’t have buttermilk on hand that you can substitute 3/4 cup of yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup of milk???¬† I didn’t but it worked…and it saved me a trip back to the store!!!

 FOR THE MUFFINS:

Heat your oven to 425 degrees and spray your muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray

Bring 1cup of blueberries and 1teaspoon of sugar to simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir frequently while cooking and mash the berries with a spoon until they have broken down and the mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4cup (about 6 min)

Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature 10-15 minutes.

Next, whisk your flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl and set aside.

Then whisk 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick, about 45 seconds.

Slowly whisk in butter and oil, then the buttermilk and vanilla until combined

Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture

and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture

Mix until just moistened (being careful not to overmix) your batter should be lumpy

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

Spoon a teaspoon of the cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter.

Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion.

Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over muffins and bake until muffin tops are golden (about 17 to 19 minutes), 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

Cut your muffin in half and put a pad of your favorite butter in the middle…

I like to close my muffin back up after I put the butter on it so it melts¬†a little¬†on both sides ūüôā

…or if you prefer your muffins plain that’s fine too because these muffins are so good that they still taste great!¬† And you can enjoy them in the morning with your coffee, or at night with a glass of milk ūüôā

(Chipless) Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Palmer Cousins

I have a¬†pretty large extended family and I grew up in the Midwest, which means that throughout my life I’ve consumed massive amounts of meat and potatoes, and being a Brunner (maiden name)¬†who was fortunate enough to live close to family and have lots of family get togethers; No meal was complete without some kind (or multiple kinds) of desserts.¬† And so my obsession with sweets began at a very early age.

Some of the Brunner Cousins

My Grandma Brunner¬†was the master at preparing enormous quantities of food for our big family¬†and she could bake with the best of them so I looked up to her and just knew that one day I wanted to cook like she did.¬† And still…to this day…my Mom makes the best Chocolate Chip Cookies.¬† She’ll swear that it’s all in the baking sheet…….but watching her for so long made me realize that¬†it’s not just the baking sheet but also¬†the little bit of¬†extra love she adds¬†to every batch¬†: )

I got an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas back in the 1980’s…and the rest is History.

I can’t take credit for this recipe because it’s the Nestle Tollhouse Recipe found on the back of their chocolate chips.¬† However,¬†I know so many people who use this same recipe¬†but regardless I don’t think I’ve had a single batch taste exactly like the previous one¬†prepared by a different person.¬† I guess everyone has their own tips and tricks.

So…here are a few of mine

Nestle Tollhouse (Chipless) and Chocolate Chip Cookies

First things first….preheat your oven to 375 degrees and gather your your ingredients

  • 2 sticks of margarine (or butter) room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (make sure it hasn’t been open more than a month or so)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Chocolate Chips (added to your taste)

First…

Make sure your margarine is soft enough that when you press your finger into it is leaves an indentation, but is¬†not melted.¬† In my experience, if I am in a hurry and try to microwave it to soften it and it melts a little bit…my cookies end up flat and crispy around the edges, rather than light and perfectly fluffy all around. Instead of microwaving try this¬†tip or trick¬†open your¬†margarine and cut into pieces to make it come to temperature more quickly

Next…

Add your room temperature margarine brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla¬†into your electric mixer and beat until creamy…then add your eggs one at a time until you have something that resembles this

Then…

Combine your flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and gradually add it to your sugar mixture, then mix by hand (so you don’t get flour all over the place, and so you don’t over mix your batter)

Line your baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper and first¬†drop chipless cookie dough by rounded spoonfulls onto your sheet (my hubby and my brothers prefer¬†their chocolate chip cookies to be chipless) which basically makes them sugar cookies…..only better : ) and bake for 9-11 minutes depending on your oven

In the mean time…

Give a quick Hello and a Thank You to your Hubby for keeping your son entertained

Add your chips to your remaining cookie dough

Let the delicious smell of your cookies fill your home with sweet goodness as they bake.  Then pull them from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and move them to a rack to finish cooling before sealing them in an air tight container, ziploc bag or cookie jar (this helps to keep them soft, chewy, and delicious for days to come)

And Finally…enjoy them after dinner with a big glass of milk : )

What is one of your favorite go to desserts?