Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mixed Berry Boy Bait

I am a woman of many wildly different loves, including (but certainly not limited to) reality television, cooking blogs, freshly baked bread, and recipes with silly names. So when, on a recent archive crawl through one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen, I stumbled across a post celebrating funny recipe names with a cake called Blueberry Boy Bait, my immediate thought was, "I need to make this. And it should be a muffin."

But a cake is, of course, not a muffin, and it took me a few tries to come up with a recipe that I felt reflected the idea of the original recipe while taking it out of the realm of desserts. The final result is dense, full of fruit, and balances the sweetness with some hearty whole wheat goodness.

Mixed Berry Boy Bait (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons AP flour, separated
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or whole milk)
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberry slices

handful blueberries
handful strawberry slices
ground cinnamon

1. Mix 1 cup AP flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a different bowl, beat butter and both sugars with an electric mixer until "fluffy". What does fluffy sugar butter look like? Well, something like this (it's hard to see due to the mixer I had to use, but hopefully you can get an idea):

It should be well-mixed, and take up a little more space due to extra air being beaten in. It happens pretty quickly - about a minute or two of beating should do it.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating each one in just until it is incorporated into the sugar butter and you can't see the egg anymore.
4. Divide the flour mixture into thirds; add the first third to the sugar butter and beat in carefully! Start slow and don't go any faster than about medium speed, or you'll shoot all that flour into the air - and onto your walls, floor, face...
5. Divide the buttermilk in half and beat in the first half, starting slowly again as to not splash it everywhere.
6. Beat in the next third of the flour, followed by the second half of the buttermilk, and finally the last third of the flour.
7. Using your now-empty flour bowl, toss blueberries and strawberries in the 2 tablespoons of AP flour. This will help keep them from sinking to the bottom to our muffins.
See how I cut my berries? You don't want entire slices of strawberries - remember, you're biting into a muffin, so you want more of a very big dice.
8. Liberally butter and flour a muffin tin. I highly suggest doing this over the sink, or you will likely end up with flour all over the place yet again. No one said baking wouldn't be messy!
9. Gently fold the floured berries into the batter.
10. Lightly spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling them almost (or entirely) to the top.
11. Place extra blueberries and strawberry slices on top of each muffin.
12. Sprinkle muffins with a pinch of cinnamon each.

13. Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted into the top comes out clean, somewhere around 25 minutes.

14. Allow to cool in a pan for just a few minutes before carefully removing from the pan and cooling on a wire rack. If you can tip the pan over and have them fall out for you - great! If there are any stuck ones, or if you're not comfortable with the "tip and catch" method, you can run a butter knife carefully around the edge of each muffin to make sure they aren't stuck, and then carefully pull them out with a fork. Serve warm or cold over the next 2-3 days.

-Make sure you are scraping down the bowl while you are beating all your ingredients together to make sure it is completely mixed.
-I got 14 muffins out of this recipe. If you cannot eat 14 muffins at once, you can freeze the extras in a muffin pan before you bake them; once they are solid, pop them out of the muffin pan and put them into a freezer bag. When you are ready, just remember to put them back into the pan before defrosting and baking them, or they of course won't hold their shape!
-If you'd like to make this even more healthy, you can use 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt.

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