If I hadn't fallen in love with photography, I think baking would be my calling. There is solid comfort in knowing that if you add melted butter to flour and sugar, it will create magic.
I slid the brimming muffin tins into the oven and set the kitchen timer for 20 minutes of pure agony. The first hints of something yummy in the oven began to waft out and fill the house. 10 minutes passed. I waited. The timer read 5 minutes left. I grew impatient. And finally, the little speckled cakes popped out of the oven, their tops golden and crisp. One bite into my hot, perfect muffin and suddenly the gates were let open for old memories to rush through. I was taken by a sudden nostalgia for my six or seven-year-old self, gazing through the glass at a display of freshly baked muffins in the supermarket, selecting a delicacy - Dad's special treat - to bring home and enjoy with a glass of milk. I was often lured into choosing the pumpkin spice or chocolate chip muffins, but the blueberry was an unforgettable classic. This muffin-buying ritual took place whenever my brother and I were fortunate enough to catch Dad in a good mood at the grocery store. Now, a simple whiff of blueberry muffin will take me all the way back to the sweet days of childhood, when the biggest worry was picking between muffin varieties.
I know for certain that I am not the only member of this household with a special place in my heart for these muffins, because when I returned to the tray not an hour after removing it from the oven, two blueberry muffins had already disappeared.
recipe for: delicious blueberry muffins
(makes 12 muffins)
adapted from Joy The Baker's Black Raspberry Muffins
1/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Scant 3/4 cup sugar (they're sweet already!)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups blueberries (use local or wild blueberries, if you can get your hands on them)
1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin or lay out your paper cupcake liners, if using.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat - keep a close eye to make sure you don't burn the butter - then remove from heat. Whisk melted butter, milk, egg, yolk and vanilla until well combined.
3. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the berries.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and spread evenly. Bake until golden and crisp or skewer inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, for about 18-20 minutes. Make sure you cool them in the pan for at least 15 minutes before trying to pop one of those babies into your mouth! Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. These muffins are lovely when reheated in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Enjoy!