Monday, September 12, 2011

Sassy Blueberry Spice Muffins

My big brother texted yesterday, a rare event.  "I'm so over this whole TX thing."  By that he meant he misses us!
The momentousness of the occasion caused a familiar feeling of homesickness to well up and somehow I found myself googling homes for sale in St. Charles.  I guess it wasn't serious, at least not for right now.  God seems to have us where he wants us right now, and as many guesses as I may have to his reasons, I don't really know why or until when. 
So, stuffing down my desire to plan and conspire, I embraced my feelings by making my favorite treat from home, that I used to beg my mom to make for me, with my own personal kick.  And I had help from my favorite person ever!

These muffins are made with lots of whole grains and get a brown nutty flavor from the almond meal.  Instead of white sugar I went with brown rice syrup, which provides the sweetness you need but its low glycemic value means you skip the sugar rush (a very important factor for a baker with a devoted sweet tooth and with a family history of diabetes!) My very special helper ate almost all the blueberries, but fortunately I had some fresh blackberries on hand, so I deviated from your traditional blueberry muffins by going for extra tangy.  I then played around with lemon juice and sour cream.  Ezra loved the topping made with dry milk powder (added calcium) and real maple sugar.  Sweet enough to conquer your cravings but savory enough to enjoy as a warm breakfast with a nice slab of butter. Mmm.  Oh, and for my gluten-intolerant friends, go ahead and substitute 1 cup of your favorite all-purpose flour mix for the whole wheat and all-purpose portions. 

Sassy Blueberry Spice Muffins:
(adapted from Good to the Grain)

Nut Topping (opt):
1c walnuts
1/4  c unsulphured molasses
1 TBSP sugar
Pinch kosher salt

Sweet Topping (opt in place of nut topping):
1 c dry milk powder
1/4 c maple sugar

Dry Mix:
1 c Almond flour
1/2 c quinoa flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/8 c sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 TBSP cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Wet Mix:
1/2 c whole milk
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c rice syrup
1/4 c sour cream
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2 pint blueberries
1/2 pint blackberries

Preheat oven to 350 and toast walnuts 10-15 minutes until golden.  Mix together dry ingredients and beat in butter until it has a cornmeal texture.  In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients, then beat in with the flour mixture until just mixed.  Add berries and scoop into muffin tins until even with the top of the pan. If using nut topping, chop walnuts and combine with molasses, sugar, and salt.  Top each muffin and press gently into the batter.  If using the sweet topping, sprinkle each ingredient lightly over top of the batter.  Place in oven and bake for 24-26 minutes, rotating half way.  Allow to cool slightly before removing and enjoy!