Seeing as my last post was all about comfort food, I thought now I'd be moving on to the recipe for the cake in my banner. Or, speaking of cake, maybe I would backtrack a bit and give you the recipe for the delicious Black Forest cake I made for my birthday. But no, we're sticking with the comfort theme for another day. Because I was recently reminded that I'm not the only one who is comforted by food when they've been sick: Kalen's thoughts have been turning back to food (after a heartbreaking "I never want to eat food again!" comment during his own bout with the flu), and it's been interesting and charming to listen to him count off his favorite foods, and make requests at the most random moments. He likes, in no particular order, pasta carbonara, popcorn, milk, honey, bacon, french fries, candy, peanut butter, oatmeal, and pancakes. Not the healthiest list, for sure, but since he'll eat almost anything I give him, I'll let him have it. Especially since he woke up in the middle of the night recently and asked me, "Mom? When can we make muffins again?" Any boy who dreams of baking is clearly my son!
So of course, first thing upon waking, we fired up the oven and made blueberry muffins. Food promises are important to keep, even ones made when you're groggy and not really aware of what you're saying. It was a rainy, stormy morning, and baking was a nice way to ease all of us into the day. We sang The Muffin Man song (with some of our own lyrics - much more fun that way), and later even made up a story about said Man. And oh my, it really did warm my heart to witness Kalen getting excited about eating again. ("Mmmm! They . . . smell . . . yummy!")
However, lest you start to think I am That Mother, I did make him eat some probiotic yogurt first, because, truth to tell, these muffins are closer to cake than healthy breakfast food, even with the wild blueberries in them. You know how diet-types are always warning you not to buy those huge bakery muffins, saying they're worse for you than, say, a croissant? (Which they are.) Well, these muffins are no different, except that I make them a normal size. So maybe they're only as bad for you as a croissant, with a little extra point for them from the blueberry-antioxidant boost. But still, don't eat only muffins for breakfast. Or if you do, don't do it in front of the kids.
I had an elaborate photo shoot planned, a from-all-angles-and-with-various-props extravaganza, so that I'd have lots of scrumptious images of muffins for you to drool over. I got off one test shot, and the next time I looked through the viewfinder, instead of a muffin I saw a chubby, dimpled hand squishing my muffin. So rather than muffins in all their glory, you get to see one very happy toddler enjoying his stolen treat. What can I say? They're irresistible.
Yields 12 normal-sized muffins - you really don't need them any bigger!
Josh stopped by a local coffee shop the other morning, and happened to pick up a muffin. He then called me from the road to say he forgets how spoiled he is at home by all the delicious baked goods I make, and how rudely he was reminded of it by the very un-deliciousness of the muffin in his hand. I was flattered. And I think it means more people need to be making really delicious muffins. So, go forth and spoil your family!
56 grams unsalted butter, room temp.
225 grams sugar
56 grams canola oil
105 grams eggs, room temp. (put them in a bowl of warm water if they're straight from the fridge)
113 grams buttermilk (I really can't recommend Kate's enough!)
7 grams vanilla
133 grams gf pastry flour mix (see this post for the recipe)
133 grams gf all-purpose flour mix (see this post for the recipe)
1 tsp xanthan gum
7 grams baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
several handfuls (really - I just eye-ball it) of blueberries, or raspberries, or chopped apples, or chopped pears . . . whatever sounds good at the moment! Heck, just admit these are cake and throw in chocolate chips, and have them for dessert.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups. (Side note: have you seen these? Do you realize how easy it is to make your own out of parchment? What would we ever do without Martha?)
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Combine the oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla (I use a liquid measuring cup - less splashing around) and mix lightly. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. (There's not enough butter to really 'cream,' so just get everything blended well and lightened.)
Add the oil mixture in three additions, beating well and scraping the bowl after each one. It should be pretty soupy now.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until well-blended.
Stir in your fruit of choice by hand, adding enough to make the muffins as chock-full as you like them. Isn't it fun to be in charge?
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until nicely browned and a tester comes out clean. Try to let them cool before eating. You don't want all those chocolate chips dripping down your chin, now do you?
Posted by Tara Barker at 9:39 PM