Buttermilk, Brown Butter, Blueberry Mini Muffins

The Kitchen Beet - Blueberry Muffins top

Say that five times fast. If unsuccessful, well, then, better make the muffins! Here in Michigan we are buying, consuming, freezing and baking with blueberries as fast as we can. These sweet, beautiful berries are my little saving grace in the middle of winter when I make pancakes on Sunday morning. For now, however, they are ripe and fresh and ready to be tucked in a not-too-sweet, but pretty decadent mini muffin.

I ended up making these muffins because I used buttermilk for the dressing in a raw broccoli salad I made the other day. Buttermilk is not a staple on my grocery list, so I found myself wondering how to best use what I had left. I adapted this recipe from one I found on food.com, and it’s been given a seal of approval by my husband, kids and work friends. You could certainly make full-size muffins out of the batter, but I prefer the mini size. In my kitchen, I don’t play by a lot of rules. If I make it myself with high-quality ingredients, I’m good with it! So while the buttermilk, butter and sugar you’ll find it this recipe may seem in contrast to many of the other recipes on this site, I consider them an excellent treat for this week’s kitchen production!

Buttermilk, Brown Butter, Blueberry Mini Muffins
Makes approximately 45 mini muffins

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 eggs, beaten (local, if possible!)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup organic cane sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you can use all-purpose if you’d rather)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 3/4 cup blueberries
cinnamon, to top
turbinado sugar, to top

Start by browning butter in a medium-size sauce pan over medium heat. As the butter heats up, it will start to sizzle and spatter.  Stir occasionally, so it doesn’t burn, and keep a close eye on it. You’ll notice the sizzling starts to slow down. When this happens, give it a stir. It should continue to make less noise and foam on top. As soon as you can tilt the pan and see lightly browned butter, remove from heat and let cool.

I love only using one bowl when making muffins (and I am SURE my husband appreciates this too!). It works for this one. Whisk your eggs, buttermilk and vanilla in a large bowl. Add sugar and incorporate.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt and stir. The butter should now be warm, as opposed to hot. Pour it in slowly. It should give your batter enough moisture to fully incorporate everything. Gently fold in blueberries, trying not to smash them into the batter.

Spray your mini muffin pan, or coat each cup with butter or coconut oil. Using a small cookie scoop, fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full. (If you fill it to the top, you’ll have one giant muffin you’ll need to cut apart!)

Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a dusting of cinnamon, and a dusting of turbinado sugar. Bake for 9 – 10 minutes. All ovens are different, so watch carefully. You’ll be able to insert a toothpick and have it come out clean when it’s ready (possibly minus some juicy blueberry). It will be a lightly golden brown. Happy eating!

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