Sunday, February 3, 2013

recipe showdown: blueberry muffins


It's been way too long since I've done a Recipe Showdown.  My last showdown was "Sweet Potato Casserole."  That was before Thanksgiving.  Santa has come, we have rung in the new year, I've finished exams... heck, it's almost Valentine's day.  

 
For the past four months, the most prominent thing on my blogging to-do list has been "DO A RECIPE SHOWDOWN" (the second most prominent thing is my attempt at drawing a croquembouche... but that's beside the point).  


What's been getting in the way?
To tell you the truth, Recipe Showdowns are hard. 

First, I have to scour the Internet for the best recipes out there, making sure they're each a bit different to make the tests interesting.  
Second, I have to halve each recipe so I don't end up with 10,000 muffins in my house (being the OCD little math geek that I am, this takes a while...)
Third, I have to buy all the ingredients, battling my way through the supermarket in search of "Cream of Tartar," and other funky ingredients.
Fourth, I have to bake them all. (coordinating oven times, oven temps, my stand mixer, and my sanity is quite an ordeal). 
By this time all I want to do is drown my sorrows for a few hours on Pinterest.  But the Showdown is not even halfway done.


I still have to conduct tests.
Do I seriously want to conduct tests?  Ain't nobody got time for that! By this time, I JUST WANT A DAMN MUFFIN. 


But alas, I conducted tests. On my parents, on my friends, even on a few random freshman... and I found the supreme blueberry muffin recipe. Oh, the sacrifices I make for you guys.


Once I sunk my teeth into the soft, pillowy, sugar-crusted, blueberry-studded muffin of my dreams, I  realized why the painstaking process that is Recipe Showdown is so worth it.  I also realized that the big, blueberry juice stain on my Lululemon yoga pants was so worth it.  It's like a battle scar. A mark of honor. 

Lastly, I realized I should really drag my butt off Pinterest more often and do more Recipe Showdowns. 

With love, 
Erica




The Facts:
Almost biscuit-like,  these muffins have a super thick, almost cookie dough-like batter, which keeps the blueberries afloat and evenly distributed. 
These are light and fluffy, moistened with vegetable oil and a touch of sour cream.  They are topped off with a light crumb topping and a sprinkling of sparkly raw sugar.
These have the magical addition of brown butter in them (you all know how much I love brown butter!).  There is no sour cream in the batter. These muffins are topped off with a chunky streusel.
Tasters’ notes:
A bit dry and biscuit like...
Very crumbly
For all of the butter and sour cream, you would think that these would be lighter and less dense.
LOVE the raw sugar crust
Light and fluffy
Pretty
Very moist
Don't miss the butter at all!
Sweet
Love the brown butter taste!
A bit cake-like
Dense
Crumbly
Verdict:
My dad liked these the best (he said the others were too sweet, and he loves biscuits).  However, this was definitely not the conventional favorite.
THE SUPREME BLUEBERRY MUFFIN!
Brown butter is delicious, and it is definitely a close second, but the dense, crumbly consistency wasn't up to par with Cooking Classy.

The Supreme Blueberry Muffin
From Cooking Classy

Yield: 14 muffins

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
7 Tbsp vegetable oil* (the easiest way to measure: measure 1/2 cup remove 1 Tbsp)
1 large egg
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp chilled butter, diced
1 1/2 Tbsp Raw Sugar

Prepare crumb topping by combining 1/3 cup flour, 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar and 2 1/2 Tbsp butter in a food processor. Pulse just a few seconds until combine, it should be very fluffy (if you pulse it too much it will become dense). Pour crumb mixture into a small bowl and whisk in 1 1/2 Tbsp raw sugar (please do not leave this ingredient out, it's the crowning jewel of these muffins, it's a MUST), set aside.
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. In a seperate mixing bowl, using a wire hand whisk (no electric mixer allowed here =), mix together 1 cup granulated sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg and sour cream for 1 minute. Gently whisk in dry mixture just until combine, batter should be slightly lumpy (do not over-mix, key to fluffy muffins). Fold in blueberries with a spatula. Divide mixture evenly among 12 - 14 paper lined muffin tins. Allow muffins to rest at room temperature 10 minutes, meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees.
After muffins have rested, fluff crumb topping with a fork and sprinkle each muffin evenly with 1 Tbsp crumb topping mixture (if doing 14 muffins you will want to do a scant tbsp). Bake muffins 19 - 23 minutes until lightly golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool several minutes in muffin pan before removing to wire rack to cool.

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

31 comments:

  1. Reading this post made me laugh! I'm exactly the same as you, postponing writing up posts to rinse my eyes for hours on pinterest! Plus, I was actually looking for the best blueberry muffin around when this came up in my reading list. Lucky me, no need to look around now but have to get some ingredients!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha I love it when my posts make you all smile :) That's what I intend to do! God that's the PERFECT way to describe it, I can't stop "rinsing my eyes" on Pinterest. Tell me what you think of these heavenly little muffins!

      Delete
    2. FInally got around to buying some raw sugar and trying them http://this-is-irene.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/best-crumble-topped-blueberry-muffins.html#more.
      These were fantastic! I'll be looking forward for more recipe showdowns. Thanks Erica!

      Delete
    3. Yum! What a lovely post, and the muffins look delicious!!!

      Delete
  2. There is much to be learned from comparing several recipes back to back at the same time. Thanks for doing the leg work on the best blueberry muffins. I have most often been disappointed with the results of blueberry muffin recipes I have tried. They are usually too much like cake - too sweet. I will take your recommendation and try Cooking Classy's version.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love Jaclyn's recipes (and Joy's and Deb's) but that's awesome that hers came out on top. Thanks for conducting this fabulous taste-test!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course! Although a bit painstaking, Recipe Showdowns are SO rewarding!

      Delete
  4. I really love these Showdown posts; a brilliant idea, and I will never get fed up of looking at varieties of baked good :P

    http://jesuis-hannah.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Glad you can relate :)

      Delete
  5. Awesome!! Wahoo I feel like a just won a really sweet award as I was up against two major food bloggers =). I'm so excited that you chose mine as the winner of the showdown! Thanks for trying my recipe out and posting about it! I always love your blog so I was so excited to see you posted about one of my recipes, and even better - enjoyed =). thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU so much for providing such an awesome recipe! I look forward to using more of your amazing recipes in Recipe Showdowns to come!

      Delete
  6. I forgot to tell you - I'm so obsessed with the streusel topping I make on these that sometimes I double the streusel portion of the recipe then bake it in some extra paper lined muffin cups for a lesser amount of time than the cupcakes, then I crumble it over the top of the already streusel topped cupcakes =). I do it that way because if I doubled the recipe and added it all at once they'd just sink. If you are ever feeling like you want even more streusel one day you should try it out =).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More streusel!? Umm... YES PLEASE! In my opinion, you can NEVER have too much streusel. I will definitely make them that way next time!

      Delete
  7. I love recipe showdowns like this! And can I just say that you're kinda adorable?

    Also, I can totally relate to you on so many things. I'm sooo OCD about finding THE "perfect" recipe so I end up making multiple variations of the same treat. And so I have to halve all the recipes and sometimes even more. (Once, I made 1/48th of a recipe...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwwww thank you so much! Haha wow! What did you make 1/48th of?! I'm intrigued!

      Delete
  8. I love the recipe showdown idea. I switched out my fave chocolate chip cookie recipe after reading your showdown results and have never looked back! I'm a fan of Joy the Baker's blueberry cupcake, but I'm going to trust you and make the Cooking Classy one's next - I've a feeling they are going to be my new go-to! Love your showdowns, love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I am so glad that my Recipe Showdown helped you find a new favorite chocolate chip cookie! Is it the Jaques Torres recipe? That's my favorite! Tell me what you think about Cooking Classy's muffins, and thank you so much for the kind words.

      Delete
  9. This is great! I was looking for a good recipe for an overly picky boy and you definitely helped narrow it down. Thank you so much!

    Also, I can't wait to explore the rest of your blog. It looks so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Can I substitute frozen blueberries?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Can I substitute frozen blueberries?

    ReplyDelete
  12. WOW absolutely awesome muffins. Thanks for taking the time to do the test and to post the recipe. I'm glad you made to note not to skip the raw sugar (which is usually what I do if I don't have it) It meant a special trip to the grocery store, but it was worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! The raw sugar really makes all the difference in the world :) I hope to do more recipe showdowns soon, I've made these muffins countless times and I know that they're the best.

      Delete
  13. Love how detailed your analyses are!! Just found your blog through Rays of Purple and I am loving it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Zainab! I am glad you like my site, hope you stop by again soon!

      Delete
  14. What do you think about reducing the sugar to 1/2 c per the SK recipe? Like your dad I would prefer something less sweet. Best of both worlds or possible fail?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a good idea; however, I have never tried it. The only way to find out is to experiment! If you end up experimenting with reducing the sugar in the recipe, please let me know how it turns out, I am sure a lot of readers would be interested!

      Delete
  15. Blueberry muffins are delicious...Benn looking for a nice recipe online, thanks for sharing this.

    Simon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Let me know what you think of them!

      Delete