Double Blueberry & Spiced Orange Muffins
"Here we go again... another blueberry muffin." How different could it be?
I actually just wanted it to be very normal; a blueberry muffin that was tasty, tender and light. I needed to clean out the pantry so I thought I would toss in a banana too. Lo and behold, my kids ate all the bananas and 1/2 the blueberries! So I went back to the drawing board and just started searching the cupboards for inspiration.
I've recently fallen in love with snacking on cashews and freeze dried blueberries because they have no added sugar but are really flavorful and curb my sugar cravings. So how bad could they be in muffin batter? The answer is "why have I never thought of this before?" I wanted to change things up a bit and since lemon is usually the anticipated dance partner for blueberry, I went with the wallflower this time... orange! I opted to dress it up a bit with unexpected spices like warm nutmeg and zesty cardamom. The flavor combination was subtle but unexpected, and reminded me of the holidays... imagine if cranberry sauce were made with blueberries? Sweet, tangy, citrusy, herbal, peppery and aromatic. Yup... ALL. THOSE. THINGS.
After fidgeting with the baking time a bit, I settled on a respectable 25 minutes; it kept the muffins from drying out but they also weren't too soggy from the berries. Crunchy turbinado sugar was just the crowning touch that transformed this typical Cinderella of a muffin to the belle of the breakfast table!
- 1 stick softened, unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup freeze dried blueberries, crushed
- Zest of one orange
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup milk (I used oat milk)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
- turbinado sugar (to sprinkle on the tops)
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Line muffin tins with baking papers, set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, spices and orange zest. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, start beating the butter, then add the sugars and freeze dried blueberries. Once well mixed, add one egg at a time, then the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture in three separate additions, alternating with the sour cream and milk. Don't overmix. The batter will be on the thicker side, similar to a cookie dough.
Put a teaspoon of batter in the bottom of each muffin paper. (This helps to keep the fresh blueberries from sinking to the bottom!) Next, carefully fold the fresh berries into the remaining batter with a spatula and scoop about 1/4 cup measurement into each muffin paper.
Sprinkle each of the muffin tops with nearly 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar. Bake for approximately 25 minutes and let cool in the pan for just 5 minutes before removing them to a cooking rack. (Leaving them in the pan to cool completely will trap the steam from the berries and cause them to become mushy.) Share with all your favorite people!
yield: 15 muffins