Archive for the 'bread' Category

Loaded, Crunchy-Topped Blueberry Muffins

blueberry muffins 2

Today’s forecast: a fierce southwesterly, piles of cookbook edits, earaches all around coughs that won’t quit. On the upside: a batch of warm muffins. Welcome to spring break in Tofino.

We’ve run out into the storm twice for essentials – coffee, Pringles (I’m easily convinced when under the weather) and meds – and both times had to retreat out of our wet clothes back in to PJs upon walking in the door. The second time I cranked the oven on first, before taking off my yellow rubber rainjacket, craving the warmth and comfort of a working oven plus a buttery, crunchy-topped muffin to go with my rained-in coffee. Generally I make muffins with grainier flours and healthier oils, but have you seen it outside? It’s a day for cupcakes passed off as muffins.

grey beach

And yes it’s pouring and blowing, but things are green and growing…

growing

In the freezer there was a flat of blueberries left over from last year – the very best kind for baking, I think, versus the bagged kind that come already frozen and with ice crystals that can turn your muffins blue-green. And so when W asked if I could PLEASE JUST MAKE SOMETHING NORMAL THIS TIME.. WITH NOTHING WEIRD IN IT? I promised to make muffins of the Tim Horton’s variety.

blueberry muffin Collage

This is a pretty basic muffin formula – the cupcakey kind, really, with a buttery crumb and crunchy top made even crunchier by a sprinkle of sugar before going into the oven. You could make a rubble of butter-flour-sugar for streusel-topped muffins, or use other berries or chopped fruit in place of the blueberries, or sub in some tweedier flour for the all-purpose. I had a lemon on the countertop and so grated some zest into the butter and sugar; this is entirely optional, but very delicious – you could instead add a big shake of cinnamon, or orange zest, or whatever else you like in your blueberry muffins. (PS: This is also a great way to use up milk or yogurt that’s heading past its prime, or that half & half you stashed in the freezer that’s perfectly fine, but separated enough that no one wants to put it in their coffee.)

muffin Collage

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

1/2 cup butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
grated zest of half a lemon (optional)
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk or (3/4 cup thin yogurt)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or dump in as many as you like)
sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar (with the lemon zest, if you’re using it) until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Add half the flour along with the baking powder and salt and stir just until combined; stir in the milk, then the remaining flour along with the berries, still frozen if they began that way.

Divide the thick batter between 12 paper-lined muffin cups, filling them full; if you like, sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. Serve warm. Makes 1 dozen muffins.

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March 20 2015 | bread and breakfast | 8 Comments »

Meyer Lemon Scones with Lemon Drizzle + Lemon Curd

meyer lemon scones 1

Sorry I’ve been neglectful of you guys this week – I’ve been off meeting and eating from Toronto to Richmond. Today I’m still digesting noodles and soup dumplings and what feels like half a dozen pineapple buns from the Lido, but today I have a baby shower to bake for.

meyer lemon scones 8
meyer lemon scones 6

I’ve been planning a Meyer lemon tart, but since tart pan rings and bottoms have a way of losing each other in the basement, Meyer lemon scones it is. And curd, just to up the ante. Meyer lemons are here – they’re bigger (or sometimes, smaller) and smoother, with a slightly orange tinge, which can be credited to their breeding; a Meyer lemon is a regular lemon crossed with a mandarin orange.

meyer lemon scones 4

Which makes them milder than a regular lemon – more floral, less acidic, with less pucker power. Sometimes, particularly when I make something tart, like curd, I like to combine the two – Meyer and regular lemons – to get the best of both worlds.

meyer lemon scones 3

This online shower is for our friend Jan, who is due to have a baby boy any second now – and since we can’t all live in the same city, we had to do something virtually, as we food bloggers are wont to do. On the upside, I can stay in my PJs and keep this entire batch to myself.

(Update: I packaged them up and brought them to the hospital for the nurses – we’ve been spending a lot of time these past few weeks there with Mike’s mom – and when I got home found them still sitting on the back seat of the car. Facepalm.)

meyer lemon scones 2

For a shower (or even a brunch), cut these small and dainty – two or three bites – which means no one has to commit to an enormous scone, and can always have seconds. Besides, maximizing surface area means more crunchy, crispy bits.

Meyer Lemon Scones with Lemon Drizzle

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
grated zest and juice of 2 Meyer lemons, divided
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup (ish) milk or cream
1 large egg

extra milk or cream, for brushing (optional)
coarse or turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
1/2 cup (ish) icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 425F.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the lemon zest and butter and pulse or blend with a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.

Squeeze the juice of one of the lemons into a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 3/4 cup. Add the egg and stir with a fork.

Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until the dough comes together. Gather it into a ball and pat it out into a square or rectangle about an inch thick on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut into squares or rounds, gathering up any scraps and rerolling them gently (if you have any).

If you cut them, pull the scones apart so that there’s space for the heat to move around them. If you like, brush the tops with a little cream and/or sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.

Meanwhile, whisk together the juice of the remaining lemon with the icing sugar, adding a little more if necessary (this will depend on the juiciness of the lemon), until you have a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the warm scones using a fork.

Makes about 9 scones.

meyer lemon scones 5

This particular occasion seemed to call for lemon curd – a trio of lemon in one bite is never a bad thing – but these really don’t need it. In fact, I’ve been seeing lemon combined with chocolate on restaurant menus lately, which makes me think that these – especially with their mandarin orange heritage – would do just fine with some chopped white or dark chocolate thrown in.

lemon curd ingredients

Once you’ve made it, lemon curd is about as simple as it gets – just remember not to leave the pot on the stove while you go check your email. (Burnt curd is not a thing. Trust me, I’ve tried.) Since Meyer lemons don’t have the same tartness as regular lemons, I like to top it up with regular lemon juice to add a little more pucker. Whisk on the stovetop until it thickens, then whisk in the butter, which will kickstart the cooling process. Easy. Eat with a spoon to ward off winter.

meyer lemon scones 7

Meyer Lemon Curd

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
zest of two Meyer lemons
1/2 cup Meyer and regular lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and juice. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring often (if not constantly) with a whisk, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Set aside to cool.

Makes about 2 cups.

Join the rest of the party! There’s plenty to eat.

Mardi from eat. live. travel. write made Blueberry Cheesecake Macarons
Heather from The Tasty Gardener made Cream Puffs w Caramel Cream + Chocolate Pretzel Top
Isabelle from Crumb: A Food Blog made Blackberry Meringue Bars
Jennifer from Seasons and Suppers made Baby Blueberry Beignets
Christina from Strawberries For Supper made Chocolate Madeleines
Jenny from The Brunette Baker made Wild Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
Liliana from My Cookbook Addiction made Vanilla Mini Cupcakes
Carole from The Yum Yum Factor made Beet and Blue Cheese Canapes
Charmian from The Messy Baker made Piglet Muffins
Amy from Family Feedbag made Marmalade Poke Cake
Brittany from My Daily Randomness made a Caramel + Pumpkin Parfait
Meg from Sweet Twist of Blogging made an Apple Carrot Loaf
Aimee from Simple Bites made Roasted Turnip Hummus
Libby from Libby Roach Photography made Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Robyn from Planet Byn made Milk & Cookies Shooters

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February 16 2015 | bread and breakfast | 14 Comments »

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