Blueberry Muffins with Lavender Flower

Muffins for Mom

This recipe and photos were provided by Sally Roeckell of Table and Dish and were originally published at 365Barrington.com.

What does every Mom want for Mothers Day? Clean bedrooms and no fighting siblings right? Maybe quiet Mom pamper time, for sure, lots of hugs and kisses and of course a yummy breakfast. I can help with that part! Here’s two muffin recipes for Mom’s breakfast tray that will really make her day.

Blueberry Muffins Cut Open on Baking Rack

Blueberry Lavender Lemon Muffins. I wish computers had a smell feature because these muffins are divine. The combination of lemon zest, sugar and lavender mixed with the batter packed with blueberries smells fantastic. The use of lavender is fantastic here, but if you can’t find it you can omit it using just the lemon and blueberry. It’s still delicious. Did you know that dried lavender is edible? I first had it in the south of France, lavender gelato, it was amazing. I like to add it to simple cakes and muffins. I’m wondering if it would be good with a little honey on cheese? I’ll try that soon.

For the savory fans, you’ll want to whip up Cheddar Onion and Bacon Muffins. All these need is a side of eggs and you have a great breakfast. Oh and coffee, always coffee. These smell and taste exactly like they sound. Bacon, Cheddar Muffin. Be sure to eat them hot. They’re best when they’re gooey, melty and delicious.

Blueberry Muffins with a Cup of Coffee

When you’re reading through the recipes, make sure to read through the tips. My family has owned a bakery and sandwich shop for many years. There’s something about muffins made in a commercial oven that gives them that big rise and wonderful muffin top. Well, I’ve explained a bit about how you can achieve this at home in your own oven. All you need is a little food science and temperature.

Special Tips for Making Great Muffins

  1. Never use a mixer to incorporate your dry ingredients to your wet. Use a spatula or spoon.
  2. Do not over mix your batter.
  3. Cover your batter and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (can go overnight as well). Do you know why you should let your muffin batter rest? During the resting period, starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter. This causes them to swell and gives the batter a thicker, more viscous consistency. Any gluten formed during the mixing of the batter is also getting time to relax, and air bubbles are slowly working their way out. Now you know.
  4. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Yes, I know the recipe (below) calls for 350°F, but trust me on this. It works! The baking/temp method is foolproof. Starting them off at such a high temperature causes the batter to have greater oven spring, or the rapid rise during the first few minutes of baking. The higher heat creates a burst of steam that lifts the batter. Makes sense, right?
  5. Spray the top of your muffin pan with non-stick spray.
  6. Line the pan with cupcake/muffin liners.
  7. Fill the muffin papers almost all the way to the top of the paper leaving about an 1/8″ from the top.
  8. If you run out of batter and  have empty cavities in your muffin tin, remove the liner and add 1/2 cup water in each.
  9. Bake 6-9 minutes at 425°F. The muffins should be about a 1/4″-1/2″ above the paper. This is the sign that the heat can be turned down.
  10. Reduce heat to 350°F. Do not open the door to drop the temperature. Bake for 6-12 more minutes, or until tops are golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out barely clean. The time will vary depending on your oven.
  11. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a rack for 1-2 minutes.
  12. While the muffins are still hot, remove them from the pan and cool on a rack. Do not leave them in the pan to cool completely as they bottoms and sides will become soggy. Leaving them in the pan builds up too much moisture.

Blueberry Lavender Lemon Muffins

Ingredients

For the Muffins

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold is fine
  • ½ cup sugar
    ½ teaspoon dried lavender buds
  • Finely grated zest from ½ a lemon
  • ¾ cup plain unsweetened yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (no need to defrost if frozen)
  • ¼ cup of flour to dust the frozen blueberries before folding them into the batter (if using frozen only)

For the Crumb Topping

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or honey granules
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 10 muffin cups with paper or foil liners, or spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the crumb topping ingredients – flour with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the melted butter, then pinch the mixture until it forms pea-size clumps and set aside. Add more flour if needed to achieve a crumb texture and then set aside.
  3. Combine the dried lavender, sugar and zest of one lemon. You can use your clean and dry hands to massage the lavender into the sugar to infuse it or give it a whirl pulsing it a few times in any high-power blender or food processor.
  4. Melt butter in a large bowl and whisk in the sugar, lavender mixture, yogurt and egg until smooth.
  5. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda and salt until fully combined.
  6. If using frozen berries, lightly dust or toss them in all purpose flour. This will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan. Gently fold the flour and the berries into the batter. The batter will be thick like cookie dough.
  7. Place the batter in the refrigerator for one hour to let it rest. ( See tips above for the reasoning)
  8. Divide batter between prepared muffin cups using a scoop for even distribution. Sprinkle each generously with crumb topping.
  9. Bake at 425°F for 6 minutes (roughly 6-9 minutes). If they have risen above the paper liner 1/4 to 1/2 inch, it’s time to turn temp to 350°F for 10-15 more minutes (time varies depending on oven.) Cook until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out nearly clean.
  10. Remove and let cool in pan for 2 minutes, then remove carefully to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.

Blueberry Muffins in a Serving Bowl

Recipe for Blueberry Lavender Lemon Muffins

Cheddar, Bacon and Onion Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons milk (whole milk is best)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole egg
  • 10 slices thick cut bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1 cup finely diced onion, sautéed slowly until caramel colored.
  • 1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
    • Note: I usually recommend grating cheese by hand. Pre-grated cheese has additives to keep it from clumping. Usually I say don’t use it because it keeps the cheese from melting nicely. However, when it comes to muffins or breads the additive to keep it from clumping works in your favor. It will keep the cheese from sinking to the bottom of the pan allowing it to be evenly distributed in your baked goods.

Method

  1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in shortening until all is combined.
  2. Combine milk, oil, and egg in a separate bowl. Whisk together.
  3. Combine flour mixture, milk mixture, bacon, onions and cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Stir gently until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes on 375°F degrees until golden. Remove from pan and serve warm.

Wondering what to do with the leftover bacon fat. Use it for delicious and versatile flavoring. Bacon fat can be stored in a small jar in the refrigerator and lasts about a month. Add a tablespoon to your roasted potatoes. Throw it in some cornbread. Sauté cabbage in it. Cook your eggs in it. Add it to a salad dressing. Sneak it into your hamburgers. Add a little to veggies like green beans, corn, or Brussels sprouts. There are so many ways to use it, so don’t let it go to waste!

Cheddar, Bacon and Onion Muffins on a Serving Tray

Recipe for Cheddar, Bacon and Onion Muffins.

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