Monday, March 21, 2011

I have to say, there's nothing quite like waking up to freshly-baked muffins and a cup of hot coffee. Unfortunately, that didn't happen this morning. Rather, this morning I found myself stumbling out of bed to gulp down my breakfast to get ready for another day of work. For the past month, I've been serving as a copy editor for my local newspaper. Once a week, generally between the hours of 12 and 8 p.m., you'll find me holed up in the quaint little office of the Village News and usually once 4 o'clock rolls around, you will hear grumbles coming from every corner of the office saying that we have no snacks. An 8-12 hr work day doesn't exactly lend itself to healthy eating and when you're working on deadline, usually the last thing on your mind is food.  You'd be amazed by how fast the visitor candy dish in our front office empties in regards to this situation.

Noticing an opportunity to do a little baking, I took the initiative to bring in a slightly healthier snack. Nothing says healthy more than fresh fruit and since it is now officially spring, I thought what better combination is there than blueberries and lemons? Below is a recipe I've been using for quite awhile. It's originally from my mother's old Betty Crocker cookbook. After a little tweaking, to take into account the efficiency of modern ovens, I was amazed by just how reliable the recipe is after 40 years. I would say it's definitely a testament to just how simple and good this recipe is. I hope you enjoy it.

Betty Crocker’s Blueberry Muffins
(Courtesy of Betty Crocker- circa 1970)

1 room-temp Egg
½ cup Milk
¼ cup Oil
½ cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 ½ cup Flour
¼ tsp Salt
1 cup Blueberries
*Lemon zest

Begin by greasing a 12-count muffin tin.

In a large bowl, whip up the egg. Wisk in the milk and oil. Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir until just combined (if you over-stir, it will become stiff). Finish by adding in the blueberries (Tip- make sure your blueberries are dry otherwise your batter will be wet and runny around the berries). Give a quick stir and pour the mixture into the muffin mold.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

*If you want to add a little lemon zest, do no more than half a lemon. The zest adds a great freshness and zing to the muffin.