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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crowd Control

Having both of my kids at home this summer is a little like living in a giant time warp.  All the time.  Having everyone around for the summer means that I need to adapt to a new and strange schedule.  This includes having food available for breakfast well past lunch because said teenagers think they've woken up in the middle of the night if they roll out of bed much before 11:00 a.m.

It also means that I need to accept that the bathroom is never actually cleaned up for the day.  It's constantly in use from the numerous showers said teenagers seem to need at varying times every day.  Ditto the kitchen.  That's pretty much a revolving door that never actually stops swinging.

Now don't get me wrong.  There is no way that I'm standing vigil in the kitchen, waiting to tempt my kids with a menu of breakfast specialties.  But what I can offer up is something.  Anything.  The great thing about teenagers is that they'll pretty much eat anything that isn't nailed down.

This is all good news for the blog and for my hips and thighs.  It means that I can try out all kinds of recipes and know that it'll all get eaten up promptly.  It's good news for all of you because I was starting to think I was going to have to recycle blog posts into a sort of Best Of You Little Tarte series just to keep things going.

Not so, at least not yet.  For now, I am scanning the cookbooks and trying new takes on old favorites and new takes on soon to be favorites.

Today's recipe is a very quick but, oh so delicious, take on classic blueberry muffins.  This is blueberry season and we should all take advantage of them in as many ways as possible.  And besides, don't we all have hungry kids to feed?

Recipe:  Blueberry Muffins
(Adapted from: The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, By Cheryl & Griffith Day)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 whole milk
1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries
1/4 cup coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling


Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly spray 12 large muffin cups with vegetable oil spray or line them with paper muffin cups.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom, until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, butter, vanilla, eggs, and milk.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid ingredients, and mix until combined (do not overmix).  Gently fold in the blueberries, using a few strokes as possible.  (I usually like to coat my blueberries with flour beforehand so they do not sink all at the bottom of the batter).

Scoop the batter into the muffin cups, filling them 2/3 full.  Sprinkle the tops with sanding sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown.    The tops should be firm to the touch and toothpick insert should come out clean.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

he muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

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