March 8, 2016

Blueberry Muffins

I prefer wild blueberries over the ones you see in zoos
It was a rainy and dreary morning, so I made muffins. I feel like that needs some explanation, so this one time I'm going to fight my natural impulse to drop a ridiculous statement and just walk away. Or possibly more times, to be determined as I feel like it. The point is, we in the LA part of the world experienced an uncommon phenomenon known as, and I believe I'm spelling this ethnic word correctly, "weather." This made me vaguely nostalgic for my distant homeland, which made me think of all the other things I'm missing that I don't have easy access to here. Like bars that are open late, the ability to go to the bank on Sunday (Well, you can go, but you'll be the only one there), and of course Dunkin' Donuts. I used to get their Blueberry Muffins all the time. And I figure that if a minimum wage employee working for a faceless corporation can pretend to have baked delicious muffins that obviously came from a factory, I, a zero wage employee of cooking crap and writing about it, can totally actually bake delicious Blueberry Muffins from scratch. That totally makes sense.


1.5 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar
10 oz. Blueberries
1/2 Cup Butter
1/3 Cup Milk
2 standard-issue Eggs
The Zest from 1 Lemon
The Juice from 1/2 a Lemon (The astute observers among you may have noticed that this leaves you with half of a zested lemon for which you have no use. Fortunately, I have expert advice on the matter: Deal with it.)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Average Sized Human's Pinch of Salt
Another 1 TBSP of Sugar
1 Small Person's Pinch of Nutmeg

The first thing you're gonna need to do is let your butter come to room temperature. This is gonna take, at a rough estimate, about 2 presidential terms, so prepare some snacks and activities. Maybe bring a sweater of pair up with somebody to make the time pass faster. Pretty much the same rules your 3rd grade teacher gave you on a class field trip apply. Once your butter is nice and room-temperatury, it's time for  the fun part, and by "fun" I mean "whisking until your arm tries to fall off out of spite." Pretty much, you're going to add your cup of sugar in with your butter, and whisk it until it gets an almost fluffy consistency. This is the part where you're really gonna feel the pain if you punked out and only waited 1 presidential term for your butter to warm up. Anyway, once your butter and sugar are together, whisk in your eggs, one at a time (this gives your second egg a chance to watch his fate, and the fear that he develops releases chemicals throughout his egg body that are delicious), followed by your vanilla, lemon juice, and milk. Grab a second bowl from your magic bowl cupboard that has a never-ending supply of bowls, and mix together your flour, baking powder, and salt. This is a good point to get you to start freaking out about the "muffin method," which sounds like the name of a terrible DJ for kids parties. His slogan would be "your ex will gloat about this for years." Pretty much, if you mix flour with any liquid it starts to form more and more gluten, because flour is a jerk. All that gluten will make your baked goods super bready. Which is awesome for bread. Not so much for muffins. So you want to minimize the mixing as much as you can.

Adorable muffin-cups added to show adorable bad-assery 
Add your wet mess of a bowl into your dry floury bowl and mix it for less time than you think you should. The consensus of the internet is about 10 seconds, and the internet directly stole that from Alton Brown. Make sure to nervously watch a clock the entire time you're stirring because of paranoia induced by this paragraph. Now add in your blueberries, and neurotically stir a couple more times, until they're just barely incorporated (Pro-tip: if, like me, you don't live somewhere where magical berry bushes of deliciousness provide fresh berries at reasonable prices year round, and you're using frozen berries, keep them in the freezer until the very last second. Otherwise they'll make everything purple. They might anyway. If you're using fresh berries, toss them in some flour before you mix them into your batter to help keep them from just sinking to the bottom and disappointing us all, like every politician ever). Scoop that goop into a muffin tin, and throw it in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. 20 seconds after you put your muffins in the oven, frantically run back and take them out because you realized you forgot to add the topping on. Mix your lemon zest, nutmeg, and tablespoon of sugar together, and sprinkle some on top of each fledgling muffin. Then throw them back in the oven for another 19.6-24.6 minutes. And that's all there is to delicious muffins. And you didn't even get paid minimum wage! You didn't get paid anything!

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