What does every Mom want for Mothers Day? Clean bedrooms and no ﬁghting siblings right? Maybe quiet Mom pamper time, for sure, lots of hugs and kisses and of course a yummy breakfast. I can help with that part! Here’s two muﬃn recipes for Mom’s breakfast tray that will really make her day.
Blueberry Lavender Lemon Muﬃns. I wish computers had a smell feature because these muffins are divine. The combination of lemon zest, sugar and lavender mixed with the batter packed with blueberries smells fantastic. The use of lavender is fantastic here, but if you can’t ﬁnd it you can omit it using just the lemon and blueberry. It’s still delicious. Did you know that dried lavender is edible? I ﬁrst had it in the south of France, lavender gelato, it was amazing. I like to add it to simple cakes and muﬃns. I’m wondering if it would be good with a little honey on cheese? I’ll try that soon.
For the savory fans, you’ll want to whip up Cheddar Onion and Bacon Muﬃns. All these need is a side of eggs and you have a great breakfast. Oh, and coﬀee, always coﬀee. Be sure to eat them hot. They’re best when they’re gooey, melty and delicious.
When you’re reading through the recipes, make sure to read through the tips. My family has owned a bakery and sandwich shop for many years. There’s something about muﬃns made in a commercial oven that gives them that big rise and wonderful muﬃn top. Well, I’ve explained a bit about how you can achieve this at home in your own oven. All you need is a little food science and temperature.
Special Tips for Making Great Muﬃns
- Never use a mixer to incorporate your dry ingredients to your wet. Use a spatula or spoon.
- Do not over-mix your batter.
- Cover your batter and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (can go overnight as well). Do you know why you should let your muﬃn batter rest? During the resting period, starch molecules in the ﬂour are absorbing the liquid in the batter. This causes them to swell and gives the batter a thicker, more viscous consistency. Any gluten formed during the mixing of the batter is also getting time to relax, and air bubbles are slowly working their way out. Now you know.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. Yes, I know the recipe (below) calls for 350°F, but trust me on this. It works! The baking/temp method is foolproof. Starting them oﬀ at such a high temperature causes the batter to have greater oven spring, or the rapid rise during the ﬁrst few minutes of baking. The higher heat creates a burst of steam that lifts the batter. Makes sense, right?
- Spray the top of your muﬃn pan with non-stick spray.
- Line the pan with cupcake/muﬃn liners.
- Fill the muﬃn papers almost all the way to the top of the paper leaving about an 1/8″ from the top.
- If you run out of batter and have empty cavities in your muﬃn tin, remove the liner and add 1/2 cup water in each.
- Bake 6-9 minutes at 425°F. The muﬃns should be about a 1/4″-1/2″ above the paper. This is the sign that the heat can be turned down.
- Reduce heat to 350°F. Do not open the door to drop the temperature. Bake for 6-12 more minutes, or until tops are golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out barely clean. The time will vary depending on your oven.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a rack for 1-2 minutes.
- While the muffins are still hot, remove them from the pan and cool on a rack. Do not leave them in the pan to cool completely as they bottoms and sides will become soggy. Leaving them in the pan builds up too much moisture.
Blueberry Lavender Lemon Muffins
For the Muffins
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold is ﬁne
- ½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon dried lavender buds
- Finely grated zest from ½ a lemon
- ¾ cup plain unsweetened yogurt or sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ﬁne sea or table salt
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose ﬂour
- 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (no need to defrost if frozen)
- ¼ cup of ﬂour to dust the frozen blueberries before folding them into the batter (if using frozen only)
For the Crumb Topping
- ½ cup all-purpose ﬂour
- 1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or honey granules
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 10 muﬃn cups with paper or foil liners, or spray muﬃn tins with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the crumb topping ingredients – ﬂour with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the melted butter, then pinch the mixture until it forms pea-size clumps and set aside. Add more ﬂour if needed to achieve a crumb texture and then set aside.
- Combine the dried lavender, sugar and zest of one lemon. You can use your clean and dry hands to massage the lavender into the sugar to infuse it or give it a whirl pulsing it a few times in any high-power blender or food processor.
- Melt butter in a large bowl and whisk in the sugar, lavender mixture, yogurt and egg until smooth.
- Whisk in baking powder, baking soda and salt until fully combined.
- If using frozen berries, lightly dust or toss them in all purpose ﬂour. This will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan. Gently fold the ﬂour and the berries into the batter. The batter will be thick like cookie dough.
- Place the batter in the refrigerator for one hour to let it rest. ( See tips above for the reasoning)
- Divide batter between prepared muﬃn cups using a scoop for even distribution. Sprinkle each generously with crumb topping.
- Bake at 425°F for 6 minutes (roughly 6-9 minutes). If they have risen above the paper liner 1/4 to 1/2 inch, it’s time to turn temp to 350°F for 10-15 more minutes (time varies depending on oven.) Cook until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muﬃns comes out nearly clean.
- Remove and let cool in pan for 2 minutes, then remove carefully to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.
Cheddar, Bacon and Onion Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose ﬂour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco, etc.)
- 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons milk (whole milk is best)
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 whole egg
- 10 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled
- 1 cup ﬁnely diced onion, sautéed slowly until caramel-colored.
- 1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Note: I usually recommend grating cheese by hand. Pre-grated cheese has additives to keep it from clumping. Usually, I say don’t use it because it keeps the cheese from melting nicely. However, when it comes to muﬃns or breads the additive to keep it from clumping works in your favor. It will keep the cheese from sinking to the bottom of the pan allowing it to be evenly distributed in your baked goods.
- Sift together ﬂour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in shortening until all is combined.
- Combine milk, oil, and egg in a separate bowl. Whisk together.
- Combine ﬂour mixture, milk mixture, bacon, onions and cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Stir gently until combined.
- Spoon batter into greased muﬃn tins. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes on 375°F degrees until golden. Remove from pan and serve warm.
Wondering what to do with the leftover bacon fat. Use it for delicious and versatile ﬂavoring. Bacon fat can be stored in a small jar in the refrigerator and lasts about a month. Add a tablespoon to your roasted potatoes. Throw it in some cornbread. Sauté cabbage in it. Cook your eggs in it. Add it to a salad dressing. Sneak it into your hamburgers. Add a little to veggies like green beans, corn, or Brussels sprouts. There are so many ways to use it, so don’t let it go to waste!