bad light and ugly food

since i normally do my baking at night, the lighting in my posts is usually so bad – yellow or red tones, way too dark, and nigh on unfixable in photoshop. i was planning on making muffins last night, around midnight, and changed my mind because of the light. i was thinking that waiting until the morning would make the muffins beautiful, and my pictures would look like something from honeyandjam. yeah. not so much. for one thing, i’m not even in my own kitchen, so i’m making do with the generous loan of kitchen gear belonging to the apartment owner. but she only had a mini muffin tin, and i wanted muffins! so, i made mini blueberry muffins. badly, i might add. here’s the recipe. yours probably won’t have square tops like mine, from overflowing the mini tins. use the regular size, and ignore the faux vintage look of the photos. i had to do something to overcome the horrendous tone of the pics, and after playing around with them for about an hour, said “forget it” and used a seventies style action on all of them.

Pretty Dang Good Blueberry Muffins

this recipe is adapted from a cook’s illustrated recipe titled “best blueberry muffins.” they’re good, but i’m still on the hunt for the best. i want more tang, and less sweet.

ingredients:

2 1/2C all purpose flour

2 1/2tsp. baking powder

1tsp. salt

1C sugar

2 eggs

4T melted butter

1/4C vegetable oil

1C buttermilk

1 1/2tsp. vanilla extract

1 pint blueberries

1/4C blueberry jam (use one that only uses blueberry and sugar for ingredients)

directions:

preheat your oven to 425F. spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside (no liners needed if you spray it down well – they come out pretty easily, thanks to the butter and oil).

in a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.

in a medium sized bowl, mix sugar and eggs, whisking until thick and smooth.

slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. i melted the butter in a small pyrex measuring cup, and added the oil to the butter that way. so much easier.

then, whisk in vanilla and buttermilk, until smooth and combined.

throw blueberries into flour, and fold the buttermilk mixture into floured blueberries until just combined. it’s okay if there’s floury patches, as long as they’re not huge. you want this just barely mixed together, because no one likes gummy muffins. then, plop 1/4C blueberry jam on top of muffin mix, and swirl in gently with a chopstick.**

using an icecream scoop, or a cookie scoop, fill your muffin tins, but just fill them. in the small tins, they spread in a major way, so don’t go overboard in filling the muffin cups… like i did. once your muffins are all scooped in, top with the streusel topping (recipe follows), and bake for 17-19 minutes. rotate your muffins from front to back about 1/2 way through. and if, after reading my failure with the mini tins, you still want to make mini muffins, bake them for about 10-12 minutes.

pour a big glass of milk, and congratulate yourself for making prettier food than the food blog you got the recipe from.

**the original recipe calls for doing this in the muffin tin, and then topping with streusel, but that was such a huge pain in the mini muffin tins, i did it this way after the first batch came out of the oven. no major difference.

streusel topping:

3T sugar

3T dark brown sugar

1/2C + 3T all purpose flour

5T melted butter

mix sugars and flour, and drizzle in butter, mixing until you get pea sized chunks. you might need less butter than what is called for.

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