I've always been a big fan of muffins, but the summer before I went off to college, I developed a full-blown addiction. I was working as a counselor at an arts day camp that summer, and we each got one extended break per day, which, believe me, was SO welcome. I usually liked to get out of the building and often found that my break would lead me to the diner up the street. The muffins themselves weren't even that good--they were clearly ordered by the flat from some big distributor--but they would split them in half for you and toast them on the griddle with a near-obscene amount of butter. Even the most sub-par muffin takes on a life of its own when it is soaked in butter and cooked until it develops a crispy, golden crust. (They were SO. Good.) I didn't get them often, since I was trying to save my money for college and not spend it all on baked goods, but that didn't stop me from wanting to get one of those muffins every single day.
Fortunately (and unfortunately), I don't work near that diner anymore. However, I am still tempted by muffins where I currently work as well, though the lack of excessive butter does help me steer clear. There's an amazing bakery up the street with very good, rustic muffins and a coffee shop even closer with decent ones. When you've rushed out the door and only discovered that yes, you actually are hungry for breakfast today at the exact same moment that you get into the office, it can be hard to resist the call of freshly-baked breakfast treats and iced coffee that somebody else has already brewed for you. (Why does it always taste better when somebody else makes it for you? I adore cold brewing my own iced coffee, but it's never quite the same. I really think it's the ice!)
Lucky for my wallet, these muffins I baked up right in my own kitchen definitely give all those local treats a run for their money. These muffins are brightened up by juicy, fresh blackberries and a little lemon zest. They are moist and tangy from the addition of a little bit of sour cream and have just enough sugar to taste sweet without verging into cake-without-frosting territory. I used half white, half white whole wheat flour, which gives the muffins a bit more of a breakfast feel, yet the white whole wheat flour doesn't weigh down these surprisingly light muffins. Finally, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top creates a crunchy, crackly top that conjures up thoughts of cobbler without resorting to a lot of streusel. (Though oh how I do love streusel...)
After eating a few, I froze these muffins so I can grab one the next time the bakery up the street is calling to me. I hope these Fresh Blackberry Muffins make your coffee house morning dreams come true!
Fresh Blackberry Muffins
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 12 standard-sized muffins
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1 C white whole wheat flour
- 3/4 C granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 C milk
- 1/2 C sour cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2-3 C fresh blackberries
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the AP flour, white whole wheat flour, 3/4 C granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk thoroughly, until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Set aside.
- In a large measuring cup or medium-sized bowl, combine the egg, butter, lemon zest, milk, sour cream, and vanilla, whisking until all ingredients are very well combined. Set aside.
- Wash and dry your blackberries and roughly chop them. Add the chopped berries to the dry ingredient bowl and fold in gently, until all berries are coated with the flour mixture. Pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients and fold just until all ingredients are mostly combined. Do not over-mix.You should still see a streak of flour or two.
- Grease a nonstick muffin pan with spray oil or line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners. Scoop 1/3 C of batter into each cup. Mix the cinnamon and the last 2 tablespoons of sugar and sprinkle in an even, generous layer over the top of each muffin.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until the muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out with just a few crumbs. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan. Serve warm or allow to cool completely before storing or freezing.