Bakery-Style Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Corey and I disagree on the virtues of muffins. I (Alyssa) believe that they are one of the more perfect foods in the world. Muffins can take on a number of different roles- as breakfast, snack, or lunch, as well as a number of different flavours. You can make them healthy or you can make them gut-bustingly indulgent, but at the end of the day, you’re still eating a muffin and not a cupcake. Cupcakes have icing. Obviously.

Corey believes that muffins are too dry and not worth it. He’d rather have cheesecake or toast with peanut butter. Anyways… Thankfully, we could both agree that these muffins were just plain yummy whether you are a fan of muffins or not!

The focus of these muffins is definitely the big, gorgeous, pieces of “crumb” that sit on top of them. In case you’re curious, crumbs differ from streusel in that they don’t contain any oats and generally, contain a good dose of flour. This results in almost a cookie like texture, although they’re not as sweet.

The muffin batter itself is fairly standard incorporating canola oil, buttermilk, sugar, flour, and both baking powder and baking soda. If you’re more partial to muffins made with butter, you could easily use an equal amount of melted butter in place of the oil, but we find that butter is harder to work with for muffins.

If you’re using cold eggs, buttermilk, etc. you run the risk of the butter re-solidifying when you mix everything together which results in a curdled-looking mess. If you’re going to use butter, just make sure that your other ingredients are at room temperature!

Finally, these muffins are studded with fresh blueberries to add a burst of flavour. Frozen would work just as well! No need to thaw them, just add them to the batter frozen. The addition of cardamom adds a slight citrus flavour, but if you don’t have it, they will be just as good without it!

Perfect for a brunch, school lunches, snack-time, or a special breakfast, these muffins are sure to please even the pickiest eaters!

Go bake.

Bakery-Style Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Ingredients:

For the crumb topping

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (106 g) light or dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons (142 g) salted butter, melted

1 3/4 cups (219 g) all-purpose flour

For the muffins

2 1/2 cups (313 g) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (140 g) fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. Make the crumb topping. Whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the butter until well-combined. Stir in the flour until the mixture just resembles a thick dough; set aside. (Full discloure: We added the flour to the sugar mixture before adding the butter and it worked just as well!).
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients for the muffins- flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, butter milk, eggs and yolk, and vanilla until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a large spoon or rubber spatula until almost combined (you’ll still want some floury bits), then add the blueberries. Gently fold them in until the dry ingredients are just combined; some lumps are fine.
  6. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups (they will be quite full) then, divide the reserved crumbs among the muffin wells, gently pressing them into the batter. It will look like you have a ton of crumbs, but as the muffins rise the crumbs will separate, so don’t be afraid to pile them on.
  7. Transfer the muffins to your preheated oven and bake until the muffins are just golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20-24 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

French Toast made with Apple Cinnamon Raisin Challah

We have been going through a serious heat wave here on the west coast of Canada. Temperatures have been up near 30, which means that everyone has been doing their best to survive in a world largely without air conditioning.

Ironically, the entire retail world is trying to tell us that it’s actually fall even though we’re all sweltering. This has resulted in some unique late summer pairings including venti iced coffees and iced teas with pumpkin scones at Starbucks. When life gives you pumpkin flavoured baked goods, you eat them, we think is the moral of the story!

With that being said, we’re bringing you a simple recipe that could easily bridge the gap between summer and fall. We used the Apple Cinnamon Raisin Challah we made on Tuesday, and repurposed it to make the most perfect French toast.

Let’s go over some things. There is French toast made using normal white bread, there is even French toast made using regular challah, but there is also French toast made using challah that has apples, cinnamon, and raisins in it, and believe us, it makes all the difference!

Our apple and raisin studded challah is dipped in a rich and cinnamony custard mixture and then fried to perfection in pools of butter. There really isn’t any better breakfast when you don’t have too much time in the morning, but are still feeling indulgent.

Maybe you’ll make this for your kids this weekend to celebrate their first week back at school, maybe you make it for the next brunch you host, or maybe you just make it for yourself, because heck, you deserve it!

French Toast made with Apple Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1 cup milk (we used 2%)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

8 slices of apple cinnamon raisin challah or other similar, enriched dough bread (challah, brioche, etc.)

Salted butter for frying

Maple syrup for serving

Directions:

  1. In a large, shallow bowl (we used a pie plate), whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Place bread slices, one at a time, into the egg mixture and flip to make sure both sides of bread are well-coated.
  3. Melt the butter in a large pan or griddle over medium heat. Place the bread slices in the pan or on the griddle and cook until golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately or keep warm in an oven until ready to serve (set at around 300 degrees F). Serve with butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit, etc. Enjoy!