Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wholesome Blueberry Muffins

There is definitely no confusing these muffins with cupcakes.

I've found sometimes that line is close to indistinguishable.  For example, at grocery stores, I can buy chocolate chocolate chip muffins (and I even make a mean version of these), chocolate cherry hazelnut muffins, strawberry and cream muffins.  They have close to the same, light crumb as cupcakes, they are just missing the icing.  I've also made blueberry muffins which were a nice light yellow in color that my husband harassed me for being cupcakes.  The handheld pastry definitions seem to blur easily....cupcakes masquerading as muffins because they lack frosting,  muffins masquerading as scones because they are triangular.  (I've had these fabulous "scones" at the farmers market that have the texture of muffins, but are triangular.  If Brits saw those, I know they would be appalled and believe even more that us Americans are nuts.)

But I have digressed so far.  These muffins are not cupcakes.  They can not disguise themselves as scone if they shifted shapes.  They are muffin.  They are a little ragged on top.  In my efforts to make my food that I eat matter more, I took a basic Moosewood muffin recipe and changed the grains a bit---substituting part of the white flour for whole wheat flour and hemp seeds.  I used less sugar than most people would.

Verdict.  Pretty good.  Rather addicting in fact.  The first bite is a bit of surprise because these aren't overly sweet and have a very nutty flavor because of the hemp seeds.  However, once we each finished our first one, all four of us (the boys, a neighbor boy, and myself) had a second and a third one.

Of course, you could just use 2 c of white flour or throw in flax seeds instead of hemp seeds or just increase the amount of whole wheat flour.  You could also use 3/4 c of sugar.  Additionally, you could substitute other fillings as you desire--they should just equal 2 cups.  As you can tell, this recipe is more of a template than formula.  Play around until you find your ultimate morning muffin that may even leave you feeling a bit good about yourself.

This makes 12 regular sized muffins.

Wholesome Blueberry Muffins
based off a recipe from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c hemp seeds
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1 c frozen blueberries

6 T butter, at room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 c plus 2 T milk
1/2 t vanilla
1 c pecans and/or walnuts, chopped

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, hemp seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Gently stir in the blueberries (flour on the blueberries before mixing with the wet ingredients prevents them to sinking to the bottom of the muffins).  In a separate medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth, using an electric mixer.  Beat in the egg, then add the milk and vanilla.  The mixture will probably look lumpy and curdled (from the cold milk hitting the warmer butter).  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the nuts.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients  and fold together with a rubber spatula, being careful not overmix and break up those lovely blueberries.  Spoon about 1/3 c batter into each greased or paper lined muffin tin.  Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 30 - 35 minutes.


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