This pregnant lady wanted some muffins. In all honesty, I should be saying, "this lady wanted some muffins." I've been blaming my sweet tooth, appetite, and food cravings on the baby, but I was like this before getting pregnant. In fact, I have some funny stories to tell you about my love of food, but I don't want to give away all my secrets in our first meeting.
I have a recipe for Gwyneth Paltrow's blueberry muffins on my kitchen bulletin board and the picture got me. The good news is that they are really easy to make, and you may even have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk (her recipe calls for whole milk, but I used organic fat free milk)
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar (plus an additional 1 tsp for dusting the muffins before baking)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
I probably haven't baked as much since being pregnant because I've been so tired (this magical second trimester energy burst has alluded me), but when I do bake I feel like Henry and I are baking together. I am excited for him to bake with once he's born. I'm sure I will be baking even less at first, and hopefully I don't make a complete mess of it with him as a distraction, but I have this idealistic vision of us baking together and loving every second of it. I'm pretty sure he can't be much messier than I already am (famous last words, I know).
Well enough about me and more about the muffins...
I've started separating my ingredients ahead of time into these amazing bowls that I got from my aunt from our wedding registry. Honestly, they are one of the best/most useful gifts we got. That and our Vitamix. I don't use the tiniest bowls very frequently (they are glass nesting bowls so they range from the biggest one holding the flour to a very tiny one. I'll try and remember to post a picture later. If I forget, I'll blame that on baby brain.), but they are a great addition to any baker's kitchen!
Here are the steps you'll need to make these delicious muffins:
(1) Wisk the butter, eggs, and milk in a bowl.
(2) Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in another bowl.
(3) Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold in the blueberries.
(4) Divide batter evenly among muffin tins and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp of sugar (I'm sure you could leave the extra sugar off the top, but why would you)
I ended up with three extra muffins (the recipe said it made 12) so I put them in my silicone baking cups (something else I'll talk more about later) and put them on our toaster oven tray. Makeshift, I know, but it worked well and prevented me from dirtying another muffin tin).
(5) Bake at 375 degrees until the muffins are golden brown and ready to eat!
The muffins took me about 22 minutes to bake (even though the original recipe called for 25-30 minutes). I always start my timer with the lower end what the recipe calls for and keep an eye on them towards the end. To test whether or not my treats are ready I always do two different tests: (1) the touch one and (2) the toothpick one. When they look about right (nice and golden) I take them out of the oven and tap them with my finger. I look for them to be pretty solid in that my finger doesn't indent into whatever I am baking. If the first test checks out (and sometimes even if it doesn't. Depends on how eager I am to eat.), I grab a toothpick and stick it into the tallest and fluffiest part of whatever I just baked. If the toothpick comes out clean or with just a few dry crumbs, I assume my goodies are good to go. Usually I'll test in a few spots, but the first muffin I tested today left me no doubt that they were ready.
As far as cooling goes, I let them cool in the pan until I didn't burn myself removing them and letting them cool on a cookie sheet. Also, don't worry if your muffin pan ends up looking horribly messy after you remove the muffins. I just use the leftover muffin scraps as an excuse to eat some extra muffin (I'm just cleaning the pan). Also, of course you have to try one yourself, because, as a selfless baker, you would hate for anyone else to get sick from your baked goods. And if you can't confirm their quality after one, keep eating until you are sure they are up to your standards. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.
For storage, I often put muffins in the freezer prematurely and then take them out as I want them and heat them in the microwave. That way I never have to worry about whether or not they are still good. For these, I'll probably store them at room temperature in a ziplock bag for the rest of today and then move them to the fridge either tomorrow night or the following morning. If I don't think we'll eat them as quickly then I'll put some of them in the freezer in a freezer safe ziplock bag. Enjoy, and thanks for baking with me!