Blueberry Muffins

I stumbled upon this recipe while reading an issue of Real Simple one night and I decided to make them the next morning since I had all of the ingredients.  I don’t remember what possessed me to buy Splenda in the first place, but I’ve had it for several months and am trying to get rid of it.  I made a few changes including adding orange zest and using regular Splenda instead of the “plus fiber” kind.  We thought they were great!  Perfect for our breakfasts this week.

Blueberry Muffins

Source:  Splenda

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter

zest of one orange

1 cup Splenda with Fiber {I used regular}

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy.  Add splenda and honey, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.  Alternately add flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour.  Fold in blueberries.

Fill muffin cups evenly.  Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden.  Cool n wire rack.

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Blueberry Crumble Bars

Yum!  I made this dessert for the fourth of July and it was fabulous. The crust had a buttery shortbread type of texture so it really melted in your mouth.  The blueberry filling was just the right amount of sweet and tart.

I only made one change and that was adding the zest of the lemon to the filling.  I figured I was using a lemon for the juice anyway, so I might as well use the whole thing.

Blueberry Crumble Bars

source:  sugarcrafter

For the filling:

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon

For the dough:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

First, measure out three cups of blueberries.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9″ baking dish. Crush the blueberries and then pour them into a medium bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the sugars, cornstarch, and ginger. Stir the sugar mixture, zest, and lemon juice into the blueberries.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients half at a time until crumbly.

Press 2/3 of the dough into the pan, reserving the remaining third. Bake the crust about 10 minutes or until very lightly browned.

Pour the blueberry filling onto the hot crust, and then dot the remaining dough over the top.

Bake about 25 minutes or until top is golden.  Cool before serving.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Blondies

While browsing my Google Reader, I came across this recipe from Milk and Honey and like Erin, I had a large amount of blueberries to use up.  This recipe sounded like the perfect use for them.  And perfect it was!  This is a phenomenal dessert, one that has landed on my list of favorites!  We absolutely loved it and I’ve actually made it twice in 2 weeks.  The second time I made it, I went ahead and made some changes.  They are noted below in italics.

Be sure to have all of the ingredients and bowls/supplies ready so you can easily go from step to step.

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Blondie Layer:

  • 6 TBS butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (I used 1/2 cup)

Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract (or blueberry vodka)
  • 1 large egg

Blueberry Layer:

  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/4 cup water (I replaced some of the water with blueberry vodka, 2-3 tablespoons maybe)
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Make the blondie layer:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (I didn’t do this)
  2. Line an 8×8 pan with foil and lightly spray with PAM.
  3. In a large microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter then allow it to cool. Mix the brown sugar with the melted butter and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla. Add salt, stir in flour and baking powder. Mix in blueberries.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top.  Set aside.

Make the cream cheese layer:

  1. With a hand mixer, process the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla and egg and process until creamy and smooth. Spread on top of brownie layer.

Make the blueberry layer:

Preheat oven when you begin this step.

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, water, cornstarch and lemon juice. Bring mixture a boil and simmer, stirring frequently, until the berries reduce and the mixture thickens. Cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Drop or pour the blueberry mixture onto the cream cheese layer and swirl with a knife.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the blondies pull away from the side of the pan and the cream cheese is almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack.  Chill for at least 2 hours before cutting into squares. (Mine took about 35 minutes to bake).

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Blueberry Struesel Muffins

I picked up a large package of blueberry’s at Sam’s over the weekend without any plan in mind of how to use them.  I just new they looked delicious and I could not pass up the great price.  The hubs suggested blueberry scones, but I was in the mood for something new.

I skimmed through my Google Reader and found this recipe from Ellie – one of my favorite bloggers!  Seriously everything she posts looks delicious!  I guess I should have been born in the South because southern food is one of my favorite types!  I only made one adaptation and that was adding about a teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter, so that the struesel topping flavor would be present in the muffin as well.  Very Delicious!

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Blueberry Streusel Muffins
recipe adapted from Vintage Victuals

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

2 1/3 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon – not in original recipe

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups blueberries

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and grease or line 18 muffin cups.

In an electric mixer bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until well-combined.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt (and cinnamon if you want).  Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, stirring well after each addition.

Finally, stir in vanilla and blueberries. Spoon batter into greased or lined muffin cups, filling two-thirds of the way full.

For topping, combine the sugar, flour, and teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles crumbs. Sprinkle on top of muffin batter.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown. Yield ~ 18 muffins.   (I got 19 muffins and they were done baking at exactly 25 minutes.)

Mixed Berry Pie

Last week I realized I hadn’t made a pie recently and decided we were due for one since Tim loves pie so much!  I had some frozen mixed berries in the freezer, so I got to work using Martha Stewart’s recipe (which I can no longer find on her website).

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Mixed Berry Pie

Ingredients

4 cups fruit (I used a combo of blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries), fresh or thawed if frozen

2 T lemon juice

1 cup sugar or Splenda plus more for sprinkling on crust

1/4 cup instant tapioca

zest of one lemon

2 T butter

double crust pie dough (recipe below)

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 Pie Dough (source: Pioneer Woman)

3 cups AP flour

1-1/2 cups Crisco (I use butter flavored)

1 egg, beaten

5 T. cold water

1 T white vinegar

1 tsp salt

 

Directions

One day in advance, prepare pie dough and place in refrigerator  (or make even further in advance and store in the freezer) and place frozen berries in fridge to thaw.

Prepare the dough by  placing the flour in a large bowl and cutting in the Crisco until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  I use a fork to do this and it takes some time so be patient.  Add in the egg, water, vinegar, and salt and gently stir it all together to incorporate the ingredients.  Do not over mix.

Divide the dough into thirds*.  Place each third into a separate Ziploc bag and shape each one into a flat round shape so that it is easy to roll out later.  Freeze or refrigerate the dough.

When ready to make the pie, take the dough out of the fridge or freezer to allow it to become pliable, but still cold and mostly firm.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

While the dough sits out for about 15 minutes, mix up the filling.  Combine the fruit, lemon zest and juice, sugar, and tapioca together in a large bowl and set aside.  

Roll out the bottom layer of dough on a well floured surface and place in pie plate.  Roll out top layer of dough and leave on work surface.  Pour fruit filling into pie plate and dot with butter.  Place top layer of dough over fruit.  Trim excess dough and pinch/seal edges.  Slice vents in top, sprinkle with sugar, and bake pie at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 35-45 more minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.  Let cool completely before serving.

*Note that you only need two dough balls (2/3 of dough recipe).  Keep the other 1/3 in the freezer for a recipe that that only needs a single crust such as a chocolate cream pie.

I roll out pastry dough on a floured silpat or silicone mat, then I can lift the mat and flip it over into the dish.  Then I gently pull the mat away. For me, this reduces tears from handling the dough with my bare hands when trying to move it from the rolling surface into the pie dish.

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Blueberry Scones

Oh my gosh!  These are so good!  I’ve made them 3 or 4 times over the past year and I am always surprised by how amazing they are!  My husband loves them too!  They are just such a scrumptious breakfast or snack!  This recipe comes from cooksillustrated.com.  It is kind of detailed but every step is worth the effort and you know it can be trusted coming from Cooks Illustrated.  My notes are in italics.

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Blueberry Scones (yields 8 large scones)

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of butter, frozen (only 8 tablespoons go into the dough, 2 Tbsp are melted and brushed on top before baking.  *See note in directions below)

1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup whole milk (I use skim)

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface

1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (I use all of the zest from 1 lemon)

Directions:

Position oven rack in the middle and heat to 425 degrees.

Grate 8 tablespoons of butter on large holes of box grater into bowl.  (*Their instructions are to remove half the wrapper from both sticks of butter, hold on to paper covered end and grate the exposed 1/2 of the sticks for a total of 8 Tbsp.  I manage to grate one entire stick, eliminating the need for the other stick).  Freeze the grated 8 Tbsp of butter until needed.  Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and set aside.

Place clean, and mostly dry blueberries in freezer.

Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; set in fridge until needed.

Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest in large bowl.  Add frozen grated butter to flour mixture and toss to thoroughly coat.

Add milk mixture to flour mixture and fold together until just combined.  Transfer to a well floured work surface.  Dust top of dough with flour and and knead dough 6-8 times with floured hands, until it just holds together in a ragged ball.  More flour may need to be added during this process to prevent sticking.

Roll the dough into a 12″ square, keeping it and the surface floured.  Then, fold it into thirds like a letter to create a 4″x12″ rectangle.  Then, fold into thirds again by lifting the short ends to form a 4″ square.  Transfer to a floured plate and freeze for 5 minutes.

Remove from freezer and transfer to floured work surface again and roll into another 12″ square.  Sprinkle evenly with the frozen blueberries pressing them down so they are slightly embedded in the dough.  Using a bench scraper to loosen dough from countertop, roll the dough into a tight log.  Lay it seam side down, press ends closed, and press to form a 12″x4″ rectangle.  Flour a sharp knife and cut into 4 equal rectangles.  Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles.  Transfer the 8 scones to a large parchment lined baking sheet. They will puff up during baking so be sure to space them well.

Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar.

Bake 18-25 minutes or until tops and bottoms are golden brown.  Transfer to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

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