Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Blueberry Muffins that are not skimping out on flavor and texture!
Blueberry Streusel Muffins are a classic breakfast pastry, a good combo of sweet and savory and a good way to showcase fresh blueberries. However, what our analysis revealed was that there was a lot of room when it comes to the spices and flavors within the blueberries themselves. Blueberries are mostly water leaving them with a mild flavor and thus in need of some enhancement. Our recipe is designed to address this flavor vacuum while keeping the core texture and essence untouched.
Blueberry muffins, and muffins in general, aim to have a moist and warm interior with a nice crunchy exterior. To keep the moisture on the inside almost every recipe in the analysis used either sour cream or yogurt. We decided to keep within theses bounds and use a creamy vanilla yogurt as our predominant source of moisture. The vanilla yogurt adds the necessary moisture with just a touch of extra vanilla flavor. There is room for flexibility here, the yogurt you choose can add just a tad bit of uniqueness to the muffins to make them your own. We personally stuck with vanilla as not to conflict with the blueberries as the showcase.
In the world of spices there was not much to analyze, sadly. About half of the recipes included no spice at all, leaving the blueberries alone in a vanilla flavored cake. There is nothing wrong with that approach, but we wanted more. And by more, we thought that should extend beyond lemon zest, the most common spice (if it would be considered that) across our analyzed set. Cinnamon is a common spice in fruity pies and desserts because it adds some depth of flavor without distracting (when done in the right quantity). We lean on cinnamon to spice up the batter beyond vanilla while keeping the lemon zest and including just a tad of allspice. This keeps the batter tasting sweet without overwhelming the blueberries.
We also take the typical amount of sugar and split 1/3 of it into brown sugar, which adds a deeper sugar flavor directly into the batter itself as opposed to leaning on brown sugar solely for the streusel.
When it comes to salt, we did not want to skimp out. Blueberries sitting in a sweet and cinnamon infused batter could be forgotten about, so we wanted to keep sodium levels up to make sure every flavor could pop. We incorporated two teaspoons of salt, on the upper end compared to most recipes, directly into the batter, to make sure that every blueberry was noticeable.
In addition to the batter, sea salt is in the streusel to add pops of salt for more enhancement. The streusel is designed to give the crust, everyone’s favorite part of the muffin, even more of a reason to love it. Course sea salt gives just the right amount of salt pop without making it just taste salty. The butter/brown sugar combo ensures that a bite all the way through the muffin will have the perfect sweetness, with core of the bite focusing on spice-enhanced blueberries.
It is probably clear the goal was to highlight blueberries in the muffin by creating the perfect environment to house them, as opposed to just a sort of vanilla cake. Our main way of achieving that was creating batter with a more complex spice setup. There is a way, though, to take it to the next level with… basil. Sweet Basil, specifically, and blueberries pair nicely together. So, if you want even more emphasis on those blueberries, adding just ½ to 1 tsp of dried sweet basil can do just that. We recommend mixing it in with the flour you toss the blueberries. This will prevent the batter from tasting like basil and rather just draw attention to the blueberries themselves. Ginger can have a similar effect, though it reminded us too much of Christmas desserts, so we would not advise it year-round.
These blueberry muffins, with their brown sugar cinnamon streusel, pack the right flavor to deliver the perfect blueberry muffin bite.
Let us know how yours turned out! Did you try the basil addition or stick to the cinnamon/allspice/lemon wheelhouse?