Sometimes I feel like my job has all the perks I could require and then some, gifting me with an abundance of seemingly unearned time off and flexibility.
Then there are weeks like the past three, when I’m either on the road incessantly, living out of hotels, or stuck in the office quite late and working like mad to stay on top of things. Not only have I been running around like a chicken with my head cut off, it’s been so hot with the A/C out at home that I’ve barely felt like cooking since I came back from Indianapolis. The highlight of my week thus far has been the arrival of the repairman and the restoration of the cool.
I was so appreciative of the lovely coolness that I was feeling positively generous toward work last night. As a result, I happily volunteered yesterday afternoon to prepare breakfast for a horde of hungry law enforcement officers. After all, it was a chance to make sure I didn’t have to eat stale doughnuts and to flex my baking muscles. How could I resist?
I know my limits, though. I wasn’t ready to tackle two or three dozen muffins from scratch. Instead, I bought enough mix to make eighteen in a variety of flavors (banana nut and apple cinnamon), and then made the final dozen from the raw ingredients. Despite spraying sugar and salt everywhere in my efforts to cream them in with the butter and discovering at the last minute that I had baking soda, not baking powder, the blueberry muffins turned out surprisingly well and were more popular than anything but the homemade granola bars, which are an established favorite among my coworkers.
Blueberry Muffins, from AUNTLYNNIE’s recipe at AllRecipes.com
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 c white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda (calls for 2 tsp baking powder)
1/2 c buttermilk
1 pint fresh blueberries (rinsed, patted dry and divided)
2 Tbsp white sugar (I left this off)
Preheat the oven to 375*. Spray your muffin tin with non-stick spray and/or drop in liners.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Preferably without sending the ingredients flying. I had stuck the butter in the freezer, so it was good and cold, and this took some serious work. Once the ingredients are creamed, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla.
Mix together 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, baking soda/powder, and cinnamon. Beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately, mixing just until incorporated; I needed a bit more buttermilk to keep the batter from being too thick. Crush 1/4 of the blueberries and stir into the batter.
Combine the remaining blueberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and fold into the batter — the flour coating keeps the blueberries from sinking through the batter when they’re in the oven.
Scoop the batter into the muffin tins. This pretty much filled mine completely, making for some lovely muffins. You can then top the batter with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar; this is supposed to create a lovely, shiny top (I was feeling lazy and had been sweeping up sugar for like ten minutes, so I opted not to get the sugar bowl out again at that point).
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden-brown.