The picture above is the only pic I managed to capture of these mini beauties because I baked them and ate them with my niece and nephew, and Tavis may also have ate some. And yes, that’s all there is left.
What did I find?
I had a hankering for baking. And we are currently looking after our niece and nephew so I wanted something easy that I could bake with their “help.” I came across this yummy looking recipe for blueberry muffins while cruising for a new great food blog to become addicted to. Blueberry muffins are one of my favourite kinds of muffin, and because these added molasses which just seemed delish, the blog Lottie and Doof has a new follower.
The reason I fell in love with this recipe is because it made making muffins seem easy. I’m going to admit something that, being a bit of a baker, makes me a tad embarrassed… I’ve never made a very good muffin. I just can’t seem to master the art of mixing – just enough so that there’s no flour lumps (cause flour lumps in a muffin are about as appetizing as they sound – believe me I know), but not too much to the point where the muffins end up with the density of hockey pucks (again, you can take my word on that). No really, I’m not kidding. I’ve actually asked my mom to make me muffins for my birthday before because I just can’t do it. I also cannot make pancakes. What a sad life I lead.
You may wonder then why I decided to tackle these muffins, with mini helping hands no less. Well, I wanted a challenge and I figured with such a tasty sounding recipe, now was the time.
What did I change?
You may recall that in the first dessert recipe I posted I mentioned that I’m normally loathe to change anything in baking because the ingredients can be so finicky and the author of these recipes usually know what they’re doing because they’ve gone through the testing phase. Well, I changed a bunch of stuff here and the muffins still turned out yummy. Take that for what it’s worth, which is probably nothing.
First thing I changed was the fact that Lottie and Doof say to refrigerate this recipe overnight. This wasn’t a premeditated decision– I was so hasty in my read-through of the directions and anxious to get started that I completely missed that step. And I had little mouths drooling over the mixture so I wasn’t about to put them off until the next day once I realized. I have to say that I’m not sure why they feel the batter needs refrigeration though – as it was I found the batter incredibly thick and mixing in the blueberries was work enough without adding the chill from a solid 8-10 hours.
I also made a few substitutions. For one, I used salted butter. The recipe calls for unsalted butter, but I have to say that unsalted butter is pretty darn gross, so I just never use it. So there. As for vanilla paste, I’ve never seen it, I didn’t know it existed, and I wasn’t about to head to the store with two kids under 6 in tow just to find it. Vanilla extract it was, and it was fake extract to boot. I also don’t know the difference between flours, and since I didn’t have any cake flour, I used all-purpose flour exclusively. And finally instead of buttermilk which I never have on hand, I used good ol’ milk with a dash of lemon. I don’t know the difference between milk and buttermilk, but I didn’t want to take chances so in went the lemon juice.
The last change I made was that I didn’t top the muffins with their streusel topping. I had had enough of baking with the two kidlets by that point so I didn’t want to make anything else, and besides, I certainly don’t have almond flour on hand. Meh. These muffins were so sweet that I don’t think adding a topping would have been necessary, so I’m glad I didn’t.
What did I learn?
I can make muffins! Well, I can make these muffins, anyways. And they weren’t little mini muffin dense disasters either! The addition of molasses really make them a great consistency that I think even muffin screw-ups like me can’t ruin! There is hope!
Also, I think I proved that using the exact ingredients is not always necessary, which surprised even me. Considering my track record making muffins, I was a little worried that I didn’t use the exact items called for, but even with the wrong butter, vanilla, flour and, milk, they still turned out yummy, and that’s really the goal of any dessert.
The last thing I learned is that I don’t like baking with kids! Ha ha, no really. Our niece and nephew are cute and I know they like to help, but I really like to bake and I just didn’t have as much fun with their sticky hands and their sneezing over the bowls and their whining over who got to add the last ingredient or use the hand mixer. I think this is one hobby I’ll keep to myself next time. I’ll still share the spoils though because they’re even cuter with muffin all over their little faces.
So muffins – can you bake ‘em? What is your favourite kind? And do you bake with kidlings?