Week 4 Finalists: Your Best Muffin

July 15, 2009

Mom's Blueberry-Coconut Muffins

Although she had never made them herself, Amanda remembers these muffins from childhood (“Mom” refers to her and her sister Rhonda35’s mother). Butter, egg and milk make for a light, cakey texture, but the addition of toasted coconut is what sets these apart from standard blueberry muffins. The base is not too sweet, allowing the tartness of the berries and the coconut to take center stage. We used colossally large commercial blueberries because they were all we could find, but if you can get your hands on some little wild ones, we’d recommend it.


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Sifting all dry ingredients, even seemingly smooth sugar, is always important in baking.

Merrill's great flour-measuring technique: using a smaller measuring device to spoon flour into the appropriate cup, and then evening the top with the back of a knife.

The melted butter. But not melted in this bowl. That would explode the microwave. And make for a rough day.

Merrill sifting the dry (flour, baking powder, sugar, salt), while Amanda whisks the wet (egg, butter, milk).

Washing the blueberries.

Amanda's sneaky blueberry drying technique- lay them flat on a clean, dry towel, fold the top over, and gently roll them around to absorb any moisture.

Checking the toasting coconut. It goes from white to toasted fairly quickly, so keep checking it!



Tossing the blueberries with a bit (1T) of flour prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin cups.

Adding the wet to the dry.

Gently folding in the blueberries, so as to prevent breaking and bleeding.

Using two spoons to drop batter in to the tins prevents dirty fingers!

The muffins stayed relatively light, but were cooked through.

Merrill's technique for avoiding burnt fingertips.

Just flip 'em over, and cool!

Finished! Beautiful!


Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Heather adapted these from a cake recipe she makes all the time, with great success. The muffins are extra-lemony: not only is the glaze made with both lemon juice and zest, but the batter also contains lemon zest. And the poppy seeds aren’t exactly shy. They congregate throughout the rich, buttery muffins like so many hundreds and thousands, providing each mouthful with a delicate crunch. We used a pastry brush to apply a generous amount of syrup to the muffins a few minutes after they came out of the oven.



Amanda's attacking the dry ingredients, while Merrill begins to zest the lemons.

The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of zest, which is much easier to obtain with a microplane grater!

Measuring poppy seeds carefully, as they tend to get everywhere.


Creaming the butter and the sugar to light and fluffy.

We added the eggs one at a time, and then the zest.


Mix until just combined.


We found that the recipe actually made 16 muffins.

On to the glaze! This lemon had already been zested, and Merrill is now rolling it, which softens it for juicing.


To the sugar and lemon juice, we added 2T zest, and simmered until the sugar dissolved.

After the muffins came out of the oven, we immediately brushed them with one layer of glaze, which we thought was the perfect amount!

Finished! Beautiful!

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