living the sweet life

Blueberry & Lemon Brown Sugar Muffins

This week has been an interesting week. First of all, How I Met Your Mother is over. I watched the finale Monday night after work and I liked it. I know the reactions have been pretty divided, but I liked it. I’ve always liked and appreciated how the show, despite being a comedy, also kept it real. They never shied away, like with getting left at the altar, Marshall’s dad dying, Robin being infertile, etc. While I wish there was more of a storybook ending, I can like the way they ended it. Obviously I wish that it wasn’t over and that the last episode turned out to actually last over many more episodes, but what can you do.

I also started my quest to shop for cute blog props and promptly spent an hour in TJ Maxx staring at all the cute little pots, pans, plates, accessories. I kept it simple, but it’s fun looking at things and imagining what I would put in there. So many choices!

Another interesting thing I’ve done this week? Make muffins with blueberries. Of the berry family, blueberries are probably my least favorite and I’ve definitely talked before about my general lack of fruit eating and dislike of fruit in baked goods. I’ve slowly come to realize I don’t mind berries in/on baked goods (like strawberries on cake or raspberries in muffins or cupcakes) but it’s still an uphill battle for me to chose, say, a blueberry muffin over a pumpkin or a chocolate chip muffin.

Good thing I’m going out of town for the weekend to visit Ryan, who loves blueberry muffins. He will gladly take these off my hand. I’ve made a version of these before when he came to visit, basically just replacing the raspberries with blueberries, but I knew the next time I made them I would want to add some lemon zest and lemon juice.

The citrus adds just another subtle layer of flavor. The cinnamon and brown sugar bring a warmth and heartiness to the muffin, the blueberries the tart sweetness, and the lemon juice/zest rounds it out. I wasn’t sure how cinnamon and the lemon would work out, but I like it and I think you will too! Plus I bumped up the whole-wheat flour so now it’s half and half, making these even healthier! The addition of turbinado sugar on top before baking gives these muffins a crunchy crust without having to add a streusel crumb topping. Win-win!

Blueberry & Lemon Brown Sugar Muffins

makes 12 muffins

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6-oz package blueberries (1 1/2 cups)
3/4 tablespoon turbinado sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, brown sugar, milk, egg, lemon juice, and zest on medium-low speed until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to the wet slowly and mix until just combined. Fold in blueberries.

Evenly divide batter between the 12 cups. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top of muffins until lightly coated. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes in tins and then transfer muffins to wire cooling rack and let cool completely.

[source: adapted from these muffins]

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