Blueberry Streusel Muffins

April 24, 2012 by andrea | Filed under Baking, Bread, Breakfast, Muffins.

Who can resist a homemade blueberry muffin? Not me! Lightly lemony with a tender crumb and a sweet streusel topping, these Blueberry Streusel Muffins rival anything you’ll find at a fancy coffee house or bakery. They make a great breakfast treat or after school snack, and are fabulous with a cup of coffee or tea. YUM!

The recipe makes a boat load of streusel — I used most but not all of it. Spoon a generous amount of streusel on top of and around each muffin…really pile that streusel on there. Bake and enjoy!

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
-recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine

Why this recipe works: We thought it would be easy to find a great blueberry muffin recipe, but most baked up dry or spongy, with an ugly color and weak blueberry flavor. We wanted our Blueberry Streusel Muffins to be tender and cakey, bursting with berries and crowned with chewy nuggets of streusel. Replacing the usual sour cream with buttermilk in the test kitchen’s favorite blueberry muffin recipe created muffins with a sturdy-but-light texture that was able to support the weight of our streusel. Juicy fresh blueberries made our muffins soggy, so we opted for frozen berries. Keeping the blueberries frozen until the last second prevented the muffins from turning an unappealing blue. Tossing the blueberries with flour before adding them to the batter kept the berries from sinking to the bottom of the muffin tin. Note: To prevent a streaky batter, leave the blueberries in the freezer until the last possible moment. Wyman’s brand frozen wild blueberries are our first choice, but an equal amount of fresh blueberries may be substituted.

Makes 12

Streusel:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
Pinch salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Muffins:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus extra for preparing muffin tin
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for preparing muffin tin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

For the streusel: Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt in bowl. Drizzle with melted butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened and mixture forms large chunks with some pea-sized pieces throughout.

For the muffins: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 12-cup muffin tin. Whisk egg in medium bowl until pale and evenly combined, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla, sugar, and zest and whisk vigorously until thick, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in melted butter; add buttermilk and whisk until combined.

Reserve 1 tablespoon flour. Whisk remaining flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Fold in egg mixture until nearly combined. Toss blueberries with reserved flour and fold into batter until just combined.

Divide batter in muffin tin and top with streusel. Bake until light golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out with few dry crumbs attached, 23 to 27 minutes. Cool muffins in tin for 20 minutes, then carefully transfer muffins to rack to cool completely. (Muffins can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.)

When Good Muffins Go Bad:
There are plenty of things that can go wrong with blueberry muffin recipes. Here are two of the worst problems we encountered.

GREEN WITH ENVY: Baking soda may have its merits for lift and browning, but it reacts with blueberries to create an unappealing green hue.
 
SOGGY BOTTOM: Think more blueberries make better muffins? Think again. When more than 1 1/2 cups of berries are used, the extra moisture creates muffins with fruit-soaked bottoms.

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