Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

I am trying to expand my collection of muffin recipes – both sweet and savory. Blueberries come to mind immediately for me. And in this case with buttermilk, to keep the sweet from overpowering the whole thing, I think I will be a happy camper at the end of this little experiment. Besides, I topped each muffin with Turbinado sugar – love the crunch of that.dd_1581

A notice, though, to all you people developing recipes for muffins – those of us baking muffins have one of two sized pans – a 6 cup muffin pan or a 12 cup muffin pan – strange numbers, like 15, are not appreciated at all. Come on, really? Thankfully, this is sane recipe that makes – wait for it – 12 muffins.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups blueberries*
Turbinado sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Stir in one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Mix in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining buttermilk. Stir in all remaining flour, mixing until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Fold in blueberries until well-distributed. *If using frozen blueberries rinse first, dry well, and then toss in 1 tbsp flour before folding in.**
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Each cup should be full of batter. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 21-24 minutes, until the muffins are domed, lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean. Transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12, thankfully.

Source: Baking Bites

** I have also heard you can toss with confectioners’ sugar too which makes a degree of sense since confectioners’ sugar has corn starch in it. May try that next time.

These were pretty damn tasty blueberry muffins. I do think frozen fruit, in this case, organic, was the way to go. With that you can make blueberry muffins in December if you get yourself in the mood. Which I just might – these went over well with the MotH and The Boy and also the office. That just makes me really happy. I suppose I’m just a simple creature. Making food that makes people happy, makes me happy. I suppose that can be a bit dorky, but it is what I am.

Also, I do love those muffin cups. They are supposed to be like grass and I really like them. They are Wilton Petal Grass Baking Cups. We just don’t have a lot of options for cool muffin cups around here, and sometimes I need something not too terribly expensive to make up my free shipping order on Amazon, so there we are. There are several more on my list … yeah!

Butter Cookies

I am a huge fan of butter cookies. They are simple, but they really need to

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Butter Cookies – with raw sugar

be done well. It is this alchemy of butter, sugar, flour, and a smidge of salt. Simple is best in this case – if you ask me, but the ratio and baking time/temp have to be spot on.

A butter cookie, a well made butter cookie, is excellent with tea. I guess that’s why the English do butter cookies so well. I’m guessing both things are in their DNA. Speculation on my part, but …

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp heavy cream
3 Tbs turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour and salt over a piece of waxed paper

Beat sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches until batter just comes together. Gather clumps together on a lightly floured board and kneed a time or two until smooth and in a 1 1/4 inch log – two logs is easier. Chill in plastic for at least an hour.

Cut chilled log into 1/4 inch slices and place about 1/2 in apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with cream and sprinkle a good bit of turbinado sugar on top.

Bake cookies for 12 – 15 minutes, turning half way through until edges are pale golden. Cool on sheet for a couple of minutes and then move to a wire rack.

Dough logs can be chilled for up to three days.

16 April 2006 – Easter w/ W&J vvv – 1/2 w/added lemon juice/zest from 1/2 lemon

17 December 2006 vvv – SR loves these

24 December 2007

21 December 2008 – juice of 1/2 lemon

6 January 2016 – made dough, as is,  and put in fridge, baked on 8 January 2016

This time a year ago-ish – apple turnovers –  https://deftanddaft.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/apple-turnovers-chausson-aux-pommes-apple-slippers/

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Cheesecake Cupcakes

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I really love this plate. just saying.

Cheesecake can be a contentious thing. People love it or hate it, and even if you love it you can take multiple sides in the debate: French, New York, topped with all manner of things from fruits to caramel sauce. Etc.

Sometimes the best way to try something is to pick the simplest version, because to my mind, doing simple well is a real skill. It’s kind of the way I test out the kitchen in a restaurant that is new to me, order something simple. I did just that with a new Italian restaurant, ordered Fettuccine Alfredo. It was sublime which tells me to trust the kitchen because if they can do that well then I can only imagine that they can do the other things on the menu just as well. Happiness.

This is a simple cheesecake recipe, but also sublime. Thank you Martha Stewart – you always steer me in the right direction. Merci.

This is the full recipe, but I just made half.

3 1/2 pounds (seven 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temperature*

2 16-ounce containers sour cream
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
raw sugar for the top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line four 12-cup cupcake tins with heavyweight aluminum liners, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. With mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese; mix until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined; do not overmix.
Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners, 4 ounces per cupcake. Bake for 15 minutes.
Cool slightly until cupcakes become concave. In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla to make the sour cream topping. Place a heaping tablespoon of topping in the center of each cupcake, and spread gently to edges of liner. Top with a bit of raw sugar and return to oven for 10 minutes.
Cool to room temperature on a wire rack and chill in the refrigerator until cold, at least two hours.

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That’s Turbinado sugar on the top and it is excellent but not in the original recipe – but do it. And again, the plate is really cool.

*When I half a recipe that has an odd number of eggs, I always go one up – so in this case, I used three.