Muffins on Monday: Blueberry Batch

It’s Monday night and the monsters have gone to bed. It’s been a wonderful day here, although a bit chilly out. Today my kiddos ate the last two chocolate chip pumpkin muffins from the fridge, so unless I want to give them toast tomorrow (which I don’t— the organic bread I buy in lieu of the homemade is $6.50 a loaf. So obviously, it’s rationed.) I had better churn something up. And this afternoon I felt particularly motivated, because we got Sally’s very first report card today! Yea, really! I feel SO OLD! All is well on the grade-level expectations, except… she had 9 tardies in the second quarter. Just the second.

Now, I’m not sure what ramifications there are for a tardy in Kindergarten. Probably nothing, unless they want to make me (or Boo, who is usually the reason we’re late) serve detention. But, yes, it’s true. I think I have to own up to it and start pulling everyone out of bed 30 minutes sooner so that we can make it into the car three minutes earlier. I tracked it once, and it’s true: for every minute I hope to get us into the van sooner in the morning, I have to allow ten off the front end of the day. Everything that can be done the night before, from laying out clothes to packing lunch to finding shoes and placing them front-and-center, must be done. And even then, the amount of time they can loiter in the a.m. is maddening. And you would not believe (except probably you would) the tactics to which we must resort, from pulling off the covers to blasting “Sir Duke” to standing on my head on the end of the bed to get them up. And we’re still seven years shy of a teenager! So I am glad to have these to throw at them—literally—on the way out the door tomorrow.

 

Awesome Blueberry Muffins

Makes about 24. Because why would you want to make 12 muffins if it’s only going to last you two days?

Necessary: two standard muffin tins and something to line or grease them. An oven at 375⁰F.

Handy-Dandy: a kitchen gate to lock your family out when the house starts to smell amazing. Will power to eat just one.

Ingredients

1 cup coconut oil, or half coconut oil and half unsalted butter

1 cup evil, cheap, granulated white sugar

2/3 cup plain yogurt, I use Greek

1/3 cup milk; today I used half & half

1 scant tablespoon vanilla

4 eggs

4 cups white whole wheat flour, OR 1 cup evil all-purpose flour and 3 cups hard (regular) whole wheat flour.*

1 tsp salt

4 tsps baking powder

1 bag frozen blueberries; preferably wild, like my children.

 

*I prefer the white whole wheat flour because it is a softer variety of whole grain flour, but you can mimic the texture with a 3:1 ratio of regular whole wheat and unbleached all-purpose, and since I believe in using up what I already have in the house and I made cake last week, there you go.

 

Method to the Madness

  1. Preheat oven to 375⁰F. Get your muffin tins ready however you like them. I grease mine with a bit of expeller-pressed (nonhydrogenated) shortening. You only have to grease the bottoms as they should pull away from the sides as they bake.
  2. Cream coconut oil and/or butter with sugar, then beat in yogurt, milk, vanilla, and eggs in a big bowl. In the recipe pictured here, I threw in two additional egg whites leftover from birthday cake baking.
  3. Sift together flour(s), salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl.
  4. Gently pour flour over wet ingredients and stir until combined. Don’t overbeat. The batter will be super thick, almost like dough.

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  5. Dump blueberries atop like so. Yay! Does this make anyone else want pie?

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  6. You will really have to work to get those baby blues incorporated; it’s more a folding action than even stirring, since the batter is so thick…

    …like cookie dough.

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  7. Once the batter is a nice purple-y color, spoon it into the muffin tins. You will get 18 to 24 depending on how full you fill those cups.

    Exhibit A

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    Exhibit B. If you have unfilled muffin cups, fill them with water.

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  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until you can press your fingertip on to the top of the muffin gently and it springs back.

    Voila!

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  9. Cool in pans for 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack. Test one. Go on, you know you want to.

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  10. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for…I’m not sure how long. We eat these up in 2 weeks.
  11. IF you have eaten all of your dinner vegetables, you can have a bedtime snack!

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  12. If you have NOT eaten all of your dinner vegetables, you might still try and swipe one from your sister.

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    Enjoy!

Muffins on Monday

This is not a food blog, for a number of reasons. First, I lack that kind of organization. I don’t actually follow recipes closely enough (usually) to share them in logical steps, or if I do, they are someone else’s recipes. Second, I take lousy photographs. But I do love to cook. I bake for my brood constantly and a number of people have requested that I share some recipes, so I’ve decided to include a (mostly) weekly feature where I share a current family-friendly recipe in my house.

Let’s call it Muffins on Monday (Get it? Sugar on Sunday? Tommy James and the Shondells? Anyone? Anyone besides my brother-in-law?) because usually, a current recipe means muffins of some sort. Today it’s not muffins, because the Awesome Blueberry Muffins I wanted to post got eaten up before I took pictures. So instead it’s Soft Sourdough Graham Crackers I mean Baby Cookies OK let’s call them Teething Biscuits that are nicely chewy, which the big kids keep stealing and even I love to dunk in my coffee. Bonus if you have a toddler working on molars.

 

Bitsy’s Soft Sourdough Teething Biscuits

Necessary: a rolling pin, a fork, and a big cookie sheet. And an oven at 375⁰F.

Handy-Dandy: a pizza wheel cutter, and parchment paper to roll out on. Clean counter tops! Hurray!


Ingredients

1 cup freshly fed Sourdough Starter (or fake it by mixing 1 cup buttermilk with 1 cup whole wheat flour)

2 oz. (half a stick) soft unsalted butter (I’m obsessed with Kerrygold)

1/3 cup raw honey

1/4 cup molasses*

heaping 1/2 tsp cinnamon, or any spice you like

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 ½ cup white whole wheat flour, approximately

*I prefer Blackstrap molasses. I made the first batch with some leftover Grandma’s Original, which is definitely not blackstrap. I made the second batch with Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blackstrap Molasses. Sally tasted the dough and said, “Wow that sure is too much molasses for me!” And yet her rate of requesting the finished product (“I’m teething my grown-up teeth, right Mommy? So I need some of Bitsy’s biscuits.”) sure has not declined.

 

Method to the Madness

  1. Cream the soft butter and beat in the honey and molasses.
  2. Beat the starter or fake starter into the butter mixture. Sift the salt, soda, and cinnamon over this and mix well.
  3. Start adding the dry flour, half a cup at a time, until a dough forms. You want a dough that will be stiff enough to roll out. How much flour you use really depends on the nature of your sourdough starter. The first time I made this my starter was pretty thick, so I only used 1 and 1/3 cup flour. The second time my starter was much thinner and I used almost 2 cups of flour to get the dough to the point where I knew after chilling I could roll it out.
  4. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. I usually let it sit in the fridge for about an hour. If you are concerned with reducing the phytate content of your flour and making it as nutritious as possible, try leaving it out on your counter overnight. (If you do, let me know what happens. I haven’t tried it yet.)
  5. Preheat oven to 375⁰F. Roll half the dough out, about as thin as you can get it. I try to roll it thinner than a commercial graham cracker. See Batch 1.

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  6. Use the pizza wheel or a knife to trim the dough into a rectangle that will fit your cookie sheet. Make columns and rows of crackers whatever size you want them. (This is where the parchment comes in handy. I don’t bother to separate the crackers. I just bake them in one big piece and break them apart later.)
  7. Pierce each piece all the way through a few times with a fork.

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  8. Move the parchment directly onto your cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the sheet until you can lift the parchment directly onto a rack.
  9. When the biscuits have cooled enough to touch, break them apart along the pizza-wheel lines you made before baking. Or just cut over the same lines again with your pizza wheel, and eat the scraps.

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    This made almost a full gallon-sized bag. I’m lucky if these last a school week in my house. If they will last longer in yours, put half in the freezer.

  10. Repeat with the second half of dough. Store on top of the fridge to keep the kids out of them. Enjoy!