Blueberry muffins with almond crumb topping
You guys. It's getting close. The almost-two year engagement is coming to an end and I'd be lying if I said I haven't lost my fucking mind. The woman who laughed and claimed she'd never hire a wedding planner (because she foolishly assumed her wedding was planned) is.. in the process of hiring a wedding planner because, as it turns out, executing a wedding in a foreign land is not as easy as I assumed it would be (heh). I haven't booked a piper or decided if I even want a piper (a wedding in Ireland kind of requires an uilleann piper, no?), and I still haven't sat down to plan a single aspect of our nondenominational ceremony. Don't get me started on the fact that I have yet to find a sash and shoes and a conflict-free wedding band, and I really, really, really need to figure out what I'm going to do with my stringy ass hair so that I stop having nightmares about shaving it all off on the morning of the wedding. I do, however, have a dress, a florist, and a ceremony + reception venue. So that counts for something, right?
Anyway, to deal with weightiness that comes from planning a wedding overseas and realizing at what feels like the 11th hour that I was a little crazy for thinking I could execute the celebration on my own, I've been spending a lot more time in the kitchen. I've been working on perfecting my roasted veggie game, recreating my favorite Thai stir fry, and trying to turn Thom's non-vegan banana bread recipe into one that's made without eggs and dairy. You'll be pleased to know that I succeeded and then went and turned it into banana bread French toast, so you can bet your ass you're gonna get both recipes sometime next month. But today I've got something that has, literally, been years in the making. My very best blueberry muffin recipe that some of you might be a little bummed about because they're not made with pure maple syrup or whole spelt flour or the tears of baby unicorns. But my goal for these muffins was never to make an overly healthy version. It was to make a vegan blueberry muffin reminiscent of the ones from my childhood, sans the nasty chemical additives and corn syrup solids and partially hydrogenated oils.
And you know what? I prevailed. Finally. This recipe yields a batch of muffins (12 of them!) with a delicate crumb, a crunchy topping, and just enough sugar to make them feel indulgent, but not overly so. They taste just like the ones I used to eat on lazy weekends away at my mom's, and they're perfect accompanied by an oversized mug of coffee and your favorite morning read. They're my new go-to breakfast muffin and something tells me they just might be yours, too.
PS - I made this for dinner last night and I can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today.
Notes: If you want to try your hand at making these whole grain, you can swap 1 cup of the unbleached flour with whole wheat flour, or replace all of the flour with light spelt flour. You don't have to use wild blueberries, but I prefer them in baked goods because they're quite a bit smaller than normal blueberries. Speaking of blueberries, fresh ones will work, too. If coconut oil isn't your jam, go ahead and use vegetable oil (or your favorite neutral flavored oil), but don't worry about making sure the milk is room temperature (if you go the non-coconut route). If you're not into crumb topping (I was recently made aware that these sorts of people exist), these muffins are totally delicious without it.
This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. All opinions are my own (and I think Califia rules).
BLUEBERRY MUFFINS WITH ALMOND CRUMB TOPPING
2/3 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4-5 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, roughly chopped
2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup Califia Farms unsweetened vanilla almondmilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 flax egg
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners; set aside. Prepare the crumb topping in a small mixing bowl by whisking together the flour, sugars, and salt. Add the oil, one tablespoon at a time, lightly mixing with your fingertips after each addition. I typically add the full 5 tablespoons, but you can add 4 for a sandy texture. Add the almonds and toss to combine; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. In a 2 cup measure (or a small mixing bowl) whisk together the oil, sugars, almondmilk, and vanilla extract. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture, as well as the flax egg, and mix with a spatula until combined. Fold in blueberries. Using a 1/4 cup cookine scoop, drop the batter into the prepared muffin wells and cover with crumble. Bake at 350˚F for 28-30 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The muffins are best straight from the oven, but can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered, for up to two days.
Yield: 12 muffins