In honor of A Spoonful of Grammar's 1st anniversary, I'm pleased to share the recipe for the BEST blueberry and raspberry muffins I've ever tasted. This recipe hails from the Captain Lord Mansion, a luxurious B&B in Kennebunkport Maine. It makes 12 muffins that will be gobbled in a flash. Make sure you check out my time-saving tip!!
Set oven to 375 degrees
Line or butter your regular-sized muffin tin
1/2 cup soften margarine or vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups fresh blueberries or raspberries (or a combination of both)
1) With an electric mixer, cream margarine and sugar together
2) Beat in egg, vanilla, and milk
3) In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
4) Stir the egg mixture into the flour until all ingredients are moist
5) Fold blueberries or raspberries in by hand. Be gentle with this last step, especially if using raspberries.
6) Butter muffin tin or use paper liners.
7) Fill muffin tin, making sure each spot is filled to the top.
8) Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a little sugar before baking.
9) Bake for 28 minutes or until tops are golden brown
10) Serve warm and enjoy!
For my latest batch, I only had vegetable oil on hand and the muffins came out great! The beauty of using oil is that you can easily and quickly mix all the ingredients together by hand. I still recommend folding in the berries last, especially with delicate raspberries.
What makes this recipe so special?
Cinnamon is the magic ingredient here - it makes the muffins smell and taste divine!! And the sprinkling of sugar before baking provides a satisfying crunch.
Can you substitute frozen berries?
If you rinse and dry them so they aren't syrupy, they will probably work. If that's all you have on hand, give it a try! Though I haven't tried it, I imagine you could also substitute chocolate chips!
These muffins are special enough for celebratory brunches and easy enough for every day. Especially when home with our families during this unsettling time, this recipe is a wonderful way to soothe bellies and souls. Have fun baking and please stay warm, healthy, and safe!
Laura Fineberg Cooper
A Spoonful of Grammar
As a special holiday treat, here's a sweet/salty recipe for HOLIDAY PRETZEL HUGS & KISSES. As easy as they are to make, they look lovely, taste incredible, and make excellent gifts. And best of all: children of any age can help!
THE SIMPLE LIST OF INGREDIENTS:
-Large bag of Pretzel Snaps (square)
-Large bags of Hershey's Kisses and Hershey's Hugs (one of each)
-Large bag of M&Ms - red and green or multicolor
- Wax/Parchment paper to line the cookie sheets
(Photo from cookingclassy.com)
PRETZEL HUGS & KISSES RECIPE:
1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
2) Lay wax paper on two cookie sheets, one for HUGS and one for KISSES. Trim to fit.
3) Place pretzels in rows on each cookie sheet.
4) Unwrap Hugs and Kisses (a great step for little fingers) and place one on the center of each pretzel.
5) Bake on an upper rack.
For PRETZEL KISSES: 5-6 minutes
For PRETZEL HUGS: 4 minutes - HUGS melt much faster!
6) Remove each cookie sheet from the oven. Immediately press one M&M onto the center of each HUG and KISS, until they are mostly flat.
7) If the Kisses aren't soft enough to be pressed flat, return the cookie sheet to the oven for 1-2 minutes more.
8) After M&Ms are pressed onto all treats, your HOLIDAY PRETZEL HUG & KISS TREATS need to cool and set. Place tray in the fridge or any cold, protected location for ~ 1 hour.
--- The pressing part for both Kisses and Hugs requires focus and dexterity.
--- Think about how/where you'll cool these before baking so you won't need to transfer treats to a different container to cool. Transferring the treats when soft is a delicate operation. If you're short on fridge space, you might opt for two smaller baking pans instead of one large cookie sheet for each type of treat.
--- WRAP in individual gift bags or containers, or place in a large bowl. Everyone gobbles these up when I make them, so give them a whirl! Feel free to experiment with different variations of Kisses, too.
I wish you all a wondrous Holiday season filled with light, laughter, and love. And of course, sweet treats galore!
Laura Fineberg Cooper