One thing we always do in the south is welcome a newcomer!  When I see that moving truck drive up in the neighborhood, that’s my cue to get in the kitchen and start making a baked good to take over to meet and greet the neighbors.  This is part of the lifestyle of the south- extending a hand of friendship.

Muffins are always a great housewarming gift.  Packaged in a basket with a pound of coffee and a sweet little note is the perfect way to make the new family on the block feel welcome.

Everytime I make these delicious blueberry muffins, people ask me for the recipe.  They taste so gourmet that I usually get asked, “where did you buy these muffins?”  To which I reply, “Cafe Dudreck.”  🙂

What makes the muffins so good are these three things:
1.  The delicious lemon-sugar topping.  It adds a nice crisp to the muffin!
2.  There are whole blueberries as well as blueberry JAM in these muffins.
3.  The buttermilk in the batter gives the muffin a nice light texture.

The recipe looks a little involved (because it is), but the extra time is DEFINITELY worth it.  This muffin is jam packed with blueberry deliciousness, yet the muffin is so light and fluffy you feel like you could float away.

Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

Lemon-sugar topping
1/3 c. sugar
1 ½ teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon

2 c. fresh blueberries
1 1/8 c. plus 1 t. sugar
2 ½ c. all purpose flour
2 ½ t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 large eggs
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
¼ c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
1 ½ t. vanilla

1. For the topping:  Stir together sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl until combined; set aside.

2. For the Muffins:  Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.  Bring 1 c. blueberries and 1 t. sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ c., about 6 minutes.  Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temp., 10-15 minutes.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.  Whisk remaining 1 1/8 c. sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds.  Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined.  Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined.  Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened.  (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour, do not overmix.)

4. Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly).  Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter.  Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion.  Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.

5. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time.  Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

(DON’T skip any steps and DON’T substitute ingredients. )

Recipe Source:  America’s Test Kitchen