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This is the ne plus ultra of blueberry muffins, the imaginary blue ribbon winner at the state fair, the top of the blueberry muffin heap. Based on a "famous department store" recipe (remember the Famous Department Store Chocolate Chip Cookies?), this recipe produces meltingly tender muffins, chock-full of berries and gilded with a light cinnamon-sugar topping.
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups (about 1 pint) blueberries, either fresh or frozen, wild Maine berries preferred
1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease 12 muffin cups generously; a vegetable oil pan spray works well.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until they're light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in the milk, and vanilla and almond extracts, mixing only until smooth. Quickly stir in the berries. Note that frozen berries will probably turn your muffins blue, while fresh will keep the cake part golden.
Fill the muffin cups 3/4 to almost full, using all of the batter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes, until they're light golden brown, remove them from the oven, and place the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of one muffin, and try to lift it out of the pan. (These muffins are very tender, and if they don't cool long enough, they'll crumble when you try to remove them from the pan.) If the muffin lifts out of the pan without crumbling, remove all of the muffins and cool them completely on a wire rack. If the muffin sticks or the top peels off, allow them to cool an additional 10 minutes, then try again. Yield: 12 muffins.
Nutritional information per serving (1 muffin, 84g): 202 cal, 7.1g fat, 4g protein, 18g complex carbohydrates, 13g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 63mg cholesterol, 179mg sodium, 72mg potassium, 78RE vitamin A, 3mg vitamin C, 1mg iron, 95mg calcium, 59mg phosphorus.