Monday, March 23, 2009

Muffins Rock my socks

Wow - life has been busy. I went skiing in Utah for a week and it took up three of my weeks with planning and recovering : ) Since I have been so swamped I haven't been in the kitchen all that much. This weekend I did make some blueberry muffins and they made me smile. This sour cream batter is very versatile and can be made into cinnamon streusal muffins (or a coffee cake), blueberry muffins, chocolate chip muffins, banana muffins, or just add any kind of fruit you like. This recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa version. I don't like using cake flour because it is bleached, so instead I used all purpose unbleached flour. I haven't tried yet, but I imagine it would also work well with white wheat flour or a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour. I plan on experimenting soon.

Sour cream makes these guys nice and moist - I use full fat organic sour cream, but any kind will work. Also, if you are out of sour cream I have also made these with plain or vanilla yogurt - they come out a little bit different - but still delicious! The sour cream and yogurt's acidity helps tenderize your muffin, so basically it is enhancing the natural beauty your muffin has to offer : )

Random fact: "Smetana" -is a heavy sour cream used in Slavic, Finnish and Hungarian cuisines.

Sour Cream Muffins:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar with blender until light and fluffy -4-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time until well blended. Then blend in the vanilla and sour cream. Add dry to wet one cup at a time until fully incorporated. Be sure not to over mix...this will toughen up your batter, yielding a more dense product.

At this point you can get creative and add what you like. I always toss my mix ins with a tiny bit of flour to keep them from falling to the bottom. You can use fresh or frozen fruit. When I made the blueberry muffins this weekend I added 1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries, then I topped it with the streusal topping. (recipe below). Fill muffin liners to the top - do not overfill - they will spill over when baked. Bake 15-20 minutes for regular muffin cups, and 20-25 for jumbo ones. Allow muffins to cool before removing them from the pan. Best eaten fresh and hot, but if not, cover completely before storing.

If you want to make a Coffee cake - pour 1/2 the batter into a greased 9x13 pan or a bunt pan. Sprinkle 1/2 streusal recipe over batter, cover with rest of batter and then the rest of the streusal. Bake 45-50 minutes.

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional...I usually don't add the nuts because people here don't like them : )


  1. Mmmm! These look delicious! I have several blueberry muffin recipes, but this one is begging to be tried! Thanks, Dagny!

  2. No problem! You always did make good muffins Lauren!

  3. I just popped these in the oven! Started off intending to make muffins, but changed to coffee cake, w/ streusel & wild blueberries! I used coconut oil for 1/2 c. of the butter in the batter, and did use walnuts, and put cinnamon & nutmeg in the batter. I'll let you know how it comes out! I just know I ate enough of the batter in the wet-ingredients stage. :)

  4. Great minds think alike, Lauren! We needed something quicker for brunch this morning after Mass, so I baked this recipe as a Streusel Coffee Cake last night. I followed the recipe, adding the walnuts (we like nuts here!). It was moist and fresh tasting this morning and deemed delicious by the whole family. Lauren, thank you for the link. Whisked Away, thank you for the recipe and we are looking forward to more!

  5. Yeah, those doesn't like walnuts should open their minds! The walnuts in the streusel really made this coffee cake. Light and fluffy and delicious. Mmm, butter and sour cream and sugar and eggs...