Muffin Accomplished

So over the past few weeks I’ve been tweaking a recipe for blackberry-ginger muffins, dubbed “The Muffins of Insanity” due to their origins at the tail end of a MARATHON day of baking when I was slap-happy exhausted (Cue Wally Shawn from Princess Bride, followed by Gollum whispering, “Tricksy batter, mustn’t overmix the Precious!”). I started by blending three different recipes I found on the internet and tweaking it some more, but I think I’ve finally cracked it; it is OMG delicious, and fairly flexible for individual tastes.

The Muffins of Insanity

3 cups of flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
10 T unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar (plus optional extra for topping)
2 eggs (or three, if you like a denser muffin)
Zest of 1 lemon, about 1 t
1 1/2 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
1 inch of grated ginger, about 1 T
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (Mix of regular and Greek yogurt; the more Greek yogurt is in the mix, the more dense and hearty the muffins, the more regular yogurt, the lighter and fluffier it will be. I like 1 cup regular and 1/2 cup Greek, or even all regular.)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. It’s okay for there to still be some little chunks of butter; you do NOT want to overmix the batter at any stage! Beat in the eggs, ginger, and lemon peel until incorporated.

Mix in 1/2 of the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Then mix in 1/3 of the yogurt. Then 1/2 of the remaining dry ingredients. Then a second 1/3 of the yogurt. Finish off the dry ingredients and then the last of the yogurt. Fold in the berries (defrost frozen berries first).

Use a standard-size muffin tin, feel free to either use cupcake papers or a light coating of spray on the pan itself. Put equal helpings of batter in each section; this will make 12 large muffins. Don’t worry if they have rounded tops; they won’t rise too much. If you choose, you can sprinkle sugar over the tops of the muffins to create a sugar crust, which is quite lovely.

Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure the centers of the muffins are done. These are great fresh or toasted with cream cheese and jam!

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