Muffin Mania… Blueberry, Pear Almond Chocolate and more!

” You have actually posted your secret muffin flour on your blog? Wow, I’m surprised…”

Yeah, I know, me too…”

“So what made you change your mind?”

“I don’t know really. Well, maybe I do a bit. I don’t get to share my muffins anymore like I used to at the café. I miss that a bit. It was my little claim to fame, ya know? Nothing earth shattering or anything like that, but it was good for the soul when customers raved about them. I would never really cook much if I didn’t have people in my life to feed:  feeding people is sharing the love.”

“Yeah but I’m still surprised… Thought you would never part with these recipes, especially that muffin flour blend. I nearly had to open  a safety deposit box for your recipes. I was sure you would leave it as a legacy in your will for our children lol!”

“Nah, they will never be interested in my old muffin recipes hahaha. They are not spectacular enough for a Cordon Bleu graduate you know!”

“Maybe not… But those «old muffin recipes» make people happy!  Ok, they make ME happy!!!”

“You just say that cuz were married and you want to make sure I continue to feed you, sneaky man! LOL. Well at any rate, I figure I will never be rich and famous as a chef or cookbook author so I might as well just have some fun. And share the muffin love!”

“So is it fair to assume that you want your blog to make people happy?”

Yes! That’s it exactly! But ultimately, I am having fun writing and sharing. And that makes me happy :)”

“I should tell your readers how good these are…”

“You are so biased hahaha… And I think you just have!”

Well, simply put, I love baking muffins! I love that they are easy and quick to make, that you require very few tools to complete the task, that ingredients are usually readily available in most pantries and that there is little guilt in eating them! Muffins are a great way to use up fruit that may have started to wrinkle a bit. In our palace, it is often muffin mania!!!

SPECIAL BLEND FLOUR
5 cups all-purpose flour
5 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup ground flaxseed

Mix well together and keep in a well sealed jar, refrigerated is recommended for long-term storage.

This flour can be used in most muffin recipes. Why use this muffin flour? It yields tender centers and crispy tops. It is packed with nutrition, fiber, a bit of protein and a bit of good omegas. You can substitute any of the recipes below with all-purpose flour.

I am not experienced in gluten-free flour mixtures and cannot offer substitutes for a gluten-free mix

Blueberry Muffins 3

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

What you need:

2 cups Special Blend Flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk¹
2 eggs
The zest of one lemon
1/4 cup neutral tasting oil² or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (not thawed)

¹ You can substitute regular milk, full or low fat. You can also use Kefir or plain yogurt mixed with milk to liquefy, maybe half yogurt and half milk. Please note: I have never tried nut milks, rice milk or soy milk.

² I prefer organic oils such as canola, avocado, sunflower or grapeseed oils over butter but anyone of those oils can be used.

How to make it:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF, set rack to middle of oven. If your oven has a convection setting, I recommend it.
  • Prepare your muffin trays as you prefer: well-greased with a dusting of flour or lined with paper muffin cups. I love unbleached parchment paper cups: muffins do not stick at all on the paper and cleanup is a breeze. And these papers liners are 100% biodegradable.
  • In a large bowl, mix well: flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Make sure the brown sugar is fully incorporated and free of lumps
  • In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs then whisk in milk, oil, zest and vanilla
  • Measure the blueberries
  • Make a small well in the center of the flour mixture: pour in the liquid mix. Using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, fold in the flour and the liquid until just well combined. Fold in blueberries. Do not over mix: it is ok to have a few small lumps in the batter.
  • Using a spoon or large ice cream scoop, divide the batter equally between the prepared muffin cups. There should be enough batter to fill each cup to the edge of the paper.
  • Bake for 18 to 22 minutes for standard size muffins and up to 28 minutes for jumbo muffins. When done, muffins should have nice golden tops; blueberries may have also started to burst open, letting a dribbling of juice seep through the cracks…
  • Remove from oven and try to wait until they are at least cool enough to handle before digging in!

Blueberry Muffins 2

Variations:

Using same the same recipe as above:

Pear Chocolate Almond

  • Replace blueberries with 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pear. Reserve a few pieces of pear to place on top of each muffin
  • Omit cardamom and lemon zest
  • Add 1/2 cup each chopped toasted almonds and chocolate chips to the flour mixture.
  • Add 1/2 to 1 tsp almond extract to the liquid mixture.
  • Place a few pieces of pears on top of each muffin and sprinkle a bit of almonds crumbs and chocolate chips (not necessary but a nice touch)

Raspberry Orange

  • Replace blueberries with equal amount of raspberries
  • Omit cardamom
  • Replace lemon zest with 2 tbsp. orange zest

Apple Cinnamon

  • Replace blueberries with 1 1/2 cups diced fresh apple. Reserve a few pieces of apples to place on top of each muffin
  • Omit cardamom, increase cinnamon to 1 tsp and add 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Topping: mix 2 tbsp. of sugar (Demerara is great) to 1 tsp of cinnamon.
  • Place a few pieces of apples on top of each muffin and sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture before baking.
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5 thoughts on “Muffin Mania… Blueberry, Pear Almond Chocolate and more!

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