Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blueberry Banana Streusel Muffins

Today is the big moving day from Tremont to Lakewood for Howie and his 2 roommates!  Since I know I won't be much assistance with the heavy lifting, I decided to use my real skills to do my share for the day: baking!  My blueberry banana streusel muffins are soft and fluffy, with a slight tartness from the blueberries balanced out by a crunchy, buttery cinnamon topping.  I know the guys are going to love them...especially considering all their food is packed away in boxes!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cupcake tray with 12 muffin cups; these don't take to long to prepare.  I started by combining the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.  In a liquid measuring cup, I measured 1/3 cup vegetable oil, added an egg to the oil, and then filled the rest of the cup with milk until the volume reaches 1 cup.  It's about 1/3 cup of milk or so in total.  Then I topped it off with a teaspoon of vanilla extract because that makes any baked good taste twice as good!  I whisked everything together by hand, then I added a finely diced banana and gave it one more quick whisk to blend.

Before adding the blueberries, I placed them in a small bowl and coated them with 3 tsp. of flour.  It may seem odd, but this flour will stick to the batter, letting the blueberries float in the middle of the muffin without sinking.  We've all had one of those messy muffins that have 6 tart blueberries sunk on the bottom, all in one bite.  Not this recipe, that's for sure!

I folded the blueberries in with a medium spoon to make sure they were dispersed well.  This recipe makes 12 muffins, so I made sure to fill each muffin cup about half full of batter, with 3 or 4 blueberries in each one.  After I did this, I gradually added the remaining batter and blueberries so they were all filled to about the same height.  Set this tray aside because it's time to make the streusel topping!

I added flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter to a medium mixing bowl.  Even though most recipes use softened butter, make sure its straight from the fridge for this one; we cut it into the other ingredients with a pastry cutter to make course cinnamon-sugar butter crumbs to put on top!

Mmmmmm.  So unhealthy.  So worth it.

When you go to top the muffins, it will seem like you have way too much streusel for the muffins.  Just lay it on thick, using all of the streusel.  They expand like crazy while they cook, and will be perfectly coated when they come out of the oven.  And...I might be judging you if you think a muffin wouldn't benefit from extra butter, sugar and cinnamon...

I baked the muffins for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center came out clean.

I'm pretty sure the hardest part of the recipe was waiting until morning to try them!

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