Friday, March 07, 2014

Cook's Illustrated: Blueberry Almond Streusel Muffins

I've been on an almond kick lately.  I think it started back around Christmas when I made almond bars and they practically melted in my mouth.  Now I want to put almonds on everything.  EVERYTHING.  Okay, maybe not everything, but anything that works.  And since I had a container of blueberries in my fridge, that anything was muffins.

I've never really gotten a recipe from Cook's Illustrated to turn out as fabulously as everyone claims they do.  They always seem just...meh.  This one was definitely different.  Probably the best blueberry muffin recipe I've ever made.  They come out tender with a crunchy top.  Note: Immediately shove some in the freezer so you don't end up making a pig of yourself.

Blueberry Almond Streusel Muffins
Loosely adapted from Bakeaway with Me blog and Cook’s Illustrated magazine, May/June 2009

6 ounces (½ pint) fresh blueberries, picked over
1⅛ cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup almond meal
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted, browned, and cooled slightly
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Streusel Topping
Sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare standard muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or liners.

Whisk flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.

Whisk sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and well combined. Slowly mix in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not over mix.)

Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Sprinkle streusel and almonds evenly over muffins.

Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 15 muffins

Streusel Topping
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons melted butter

Combine ingredients until it is the size of peas and set aside. Add additional flour to achieve correct consistency, if needed.

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