Saturday, May 26, 2007

Muffin To Do

Though it's still warming up outside, the weekend has begun, and that means it's time for me to head into the kitchen and bake.

As I'm trying to clean out the freezer in time to reload it this summer, I decided to pull out the next-to-the-last bag of frozen blueberries along with one of my perennial favorite muffin recipes: lavender-blueberry streusel muffins.

I usually make these muffins at least once a spring since I found it years ago in Morning Glories, a book on using herbs in baking and other cooking, and it's a big favorite among my friends. And with a couple of new friends in my circle this year, I decided it was time to initiate them into the joy of this recipe.

Once again, I'm pleased to report the number of local foods found in these muffins -- blueberries, lavender, milk, eggs -- though I regret that I'm still out of local whole wheat flour and butter. And after filling a dozen muffin cups with batter, I had enough left to make a mini loaf to share with the Innkeeper when I help her make breakfast for her guests tomorrow morning.

I've raved before about how much I love the fragrance of fresh baking, especially with these buttery morsels and juicy berries and aromatic lavender. It's hard to resist the delicacy of the flavor and texture of these muffins.

And since I can't bake an enormous batch and share them with all my Dear Readers who have been so supportive and encouraging lately, I hope you will accept the recipe instead, and try it on your own sometime!

Lavender-Blueberry Streusel Muffins

You may hesitate to cook with lavender, but if you gather up your courage to try this recipe from Morning Glories (with my slight adaptations), I think you'll enjoy it. The lavender adds a fresh, delicate taste to the sweet/tart berries, and it adds a little extra perkiness to the buttery streusel. It's simple, but the flavor has depth and tends to sway people pretty quickly to the joy of using lavender in baking. If you like, you can make small loaves with the batter and serve them as a light dessert cake.

1 c unbleached flour
1 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp dried lavender blossoms
1 c fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
1/2 c milk
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 c sugar (I like cane juice crystals)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp dried lavender blossoms
3 T sugar
1/4 c unbleached flour
2 T unsalted butter, softened.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flours, salt, baking powder and lavender; set aside.

In another bowl, cover blueberries with milk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add half the flour mixture, stirring to combine. Add the milk mixture, stirring, and then the remaining flour mixture, stirring until barely blended. Divide batter among muffin cups.

To make streusel, in small bowl, combine lavender, sugar, and flour. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle streusel on top of each muffin cup and press gently into batter.

Bake muffins 30-35 minutes, until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12-16 muffins


At 5/28/2007 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a friend who insisted on putting lavender into baked goods. I remember corn muffins, particularly. They always tasted like soap. I love lavender, but it really doesn't go in baked goods.

At 5/29/2007 5:34 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Then I would say, Anonymous, that you haven't tried the right baked goods.

And I would add that anonymous snarky comments are not overly appreciated, especially if you are who I think you are.

At 6/23/2007 9:26 AM, Blogger Alyssa said...

Score! I have blueberries from the farmer's market this morning and lavender dried from my brother and also whole wheat flour from the market. But it's bread flour, will that be ok?

At 6/23/2007 1:18 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Alyssa, if you're just substituting bread flour for the whole wheat pastry flour, it should be fine. If you want to use it for the whole recipe, I might still use 1/2 c unbleached, but it could be just fine with all whole wheat. The unbleached/whole wheat mix is a personal preference and results in a fairly tender crumb.

It certainly can't hurt to experiment!


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