The other day I volunteered to bring blueberry muffins to a breakfast birthday celebration at work. And since many of my coworkers know about my food blogging, I didn't think I could phone it in with some bakery muffins or even muffins from a box! Obviously, I needed to start from scratch. But there was one problem -- there are approximately seven million recipes for blueberry muffins out there in the internet universe. How's a girl to sift through all of those ideas?! At the end of the day, I decided to smash together two muffin recipes, one from Barefoot Contessa and one from Cooks Illustrated. The result was delicious! Barefoot Contessa's muffins were heavy and almost cake-like in their consistency (probably why they were titled "Blueberry Coffeecake Muffins") and to be honest, I think I liked the fridge-cooled leftovers even better! They were kind of dessert-like in texture. Instead of fresh blueberries, I opted for frozen, and I doubt it made any real difference.
But the sugary lemon topping courtesy of Cooks Illustrated was key. The sugar crisped up in the oven, creating a crust on top of the muffins. And the hint of lemon zest on top added an extra punch of flavor, kicking up these muffins to another level. Served warm with butter, they are a fantastic breakfast. Served cold with wine, and you've got a pretty good dessert! You can do no wrong!
Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Sugar Crust
Makes 16-18 muffins
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
2 tbls sugar
zest of one lemon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two muffin tins with either paper cups or by spraying with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing in between each addition. Add the vanilla extract, sour cream, and milk, and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients slowly, mixing to combine. Pour in the blueberries and fold into the batter with a spatula.
Using two spoons, spoon the muffin batter into the pans. The batter should be at or just above the height of the muffin cups.
On a cutting board, zest the lemon into the 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix together. Lightly sprinkle the sugar/lemon mix on the top of each muffin.
Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Let cool (if you can) and then enjoy!