Early in our relationship, I made John a batch of one of my favorite foods, Ellie Krieger’s Apple-Pecan Muffins. He loved them, perhaps even more than I did. Nearly two years later, John still claims those muffins are his favorite food I make.
I was curious to see what both John and I would think of Ellie Krieger’s Better Blueberry Muffins from her Comfort Food Fix cookbook, which I recently spent hours poring over. We both tend to prefer apples over blueberries in our baked goods, but with blueberries being in season and my interest in Ellie Krieger recipes reawakened, I wanted to give these blueberry muffins a try.
As soon as I began to zest the lemon peel, I knew these muffins would be good. The lemon zest smelled so fresh and summery, and I simply love the lemon-blueberry combination in foods. I could not wait to get the batter divvied up and into the oven.
I checked the muffins after 15 minutes, but the insides were still gooey. At 19 minutes, they were slightly browned and perfectly done.
The muffins looked so enticing while cooling on the counter that my stomach rumbled repeatedly while I waited for my first bite. (Washing dishes was–for once–a welcome distraction.) After dutifully waiting the stated 15 minutes (I am such a rule follower), I dived in, and I was not disappointed. Each mouthful was bursting with blueberries and a subtle taste of lemon. They were just right for a summer breakfast treat. I gave the muffins 4.5 stars; John gave them 4. We both maintain that the Apple-Pecan Muffins are superior to these blueberry ones–but not by much.
Better Blueberry Muffins
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-grain pastry flour or whole-wheat flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 100% Whole Wheat Pastry Flour)
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
¼ cup nonfat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
1½ cups fresh or frozen (unsweetened and unthawed) blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, and eggs, until the mixture is light yellow and slightly frothy. Whisk in the applesauce, yogurt, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing just enough to combine them. Do not overmix. Gently stir in the blueberries.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
5. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around them to loosen and unmold. Enjoy warm or let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or wrap individually and freeze for up to 3 months.
Yield: 12 muffins (serving size: 1 muffin). Per serving, 5 PointsPlus.