Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Brunch Basket of Baking

cranberry scones

Liz decided to host a brunch yesterday. As I told someone else, it wasn't so much an Easter brunch - as a brunch that happened to fall on Easter. The moment Liz told me she was planning on hosting a brunch I offered to bring things. I love brunch. And I especially love making brunch foods. The problem with most of them - they don't keep well. I can't whip up a bunch of scones in the morning and pass them out the next day at school, like I usually do.

I made a baked french toast casserole, which is fabulous but requires very little effort. So I also offered to bring cranberry scones and blueberry muffins.

blueberry muffins

I've made the blueberry muffins before, and the recipe title isn't an exaggeration. They are beautiful, perfect easy muffins. I knew they wouldn't be a problem. But every other time I've tried to make scones they've been really finicky. Hard to handle. Not the right consistency. These scones on the other hand were awesome. The batter came together easily and baked like a dream. I want to wake up every Sunday morning and make these scones. Now, I just need people I like to volunteer to help me eat them every Sunday morning.

Perfect Blueberry Muffins
from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 9 to 10 standard muffins

5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces or 71 grams) unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 191 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon (7 grams or 1/4 ounce) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces or 105 grams) blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t bother defrosting)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest.

Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears. Gently fold in your blueberries.

The dough will be quite thick (and even thicker, if you used a full-fat Greek-style yogurt), closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. You’re looking for them to be about 3/4 full, nothing more, so you might only need 9 instead of 10 cups.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean.

my easter brunch basket (#114)

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