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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

I wanted to bake a cake, but blueberry muffins will have to do. Summers in Alaska are so crazy, I now understand why I didn't start this blog until September 3rd last year. Yes, today is the one year anniversary of Arctic Garden Studio. Well, the first post anyway. Despite the slow posting lately I have not given up on it. A while ago someone asked how I manage to keep going with my two blogs. How it works for me is that I don't give myself any requirements or deadlines. I post when I want to and try not to stress out about it too much. There are times when the food and creativity flows and I post every day. Other times I am just too busy, so I let it go. I am thankful for all the wonderful folks I have met through the blog, but I try not to concern myself too much with my readership numbers. I try to think of you all like good friends who wouldn't hang up on me if I hadn't called you for a month. You are certainly the reason I continue to post.
With that said, there have been many changes in my life this summer. It seems like only yesterday the summer was just beginning with my trip to Yukon Flats. It was during that trip that I realized I needed to make some serious changes in my life. I really started pounding the pavement to look for a new job. There is a time when you realize that things are never going to change and it is time to go. So I cashed in my flexible schedule, bringing my dog to work, and daily walks at Creamer's Field for a good retirement plan and medical benefits with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It feels good to look forward to going to work every day and know that I will have a paycheck every two weeks.
I wish that my job search had not consumed the majority of our too short summer. Somehow I still managed to put away several gallons of rhubarb, blueberries, and last night I picked my first half gallon of lingonberries. So, in the quite winter months I will have plenty a time to bake of some delicious goodies. To celebrate this special day, I couldn't think of anything more Alaskan than a fresh blueberry muffin. Happy Birthday little blog!
Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Fine Cooking

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
Scant 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 ounces (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. grated or ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh blueberries

Set an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°F. Make the crumble: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the butter and work it in with your fingertips until you have a uniform, moist crumble. Cover with plastic wrap.
Make the muffins: Butter and flour 12 regular (1/2-cup) or 6 large (1-cup) muffin tins or line them with paper liners. In a small bowl, sift together both flours, the baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Gently fold in the berries by hand. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups to almost full.
Scatter a generous amount of the crumble over the batter in each muffin cup (there may be some leftover).
Bake until the tops are golden and spring back when touched lightly and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes for regular muffins, 30 to 35 minutes for large. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Serve warm.


  1. Happy birthday, Blog, and congratulations on the new gig, Nicole!

    Occasional posts are better than no posts at all, I always say (okay, so I never said it before). It's nice to see your yummy goodness whenever it happens to appear!

  2. Congrats! But where are the lingonberry muffins? Or is that a post yet to come...

  3. Congratulations on the new job, and a year of the blog! I'm so impressed at how often you manage to post when you're so busy, and that you've managed to stash all those lovely fruits. I'm looking forward to another great year (and making your tasty recipes, your name is still heralded in this house as the bringer of the good tofu curry recipe, and for N that means A LOT!)


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