Thursday, August 18, 2011

Whole Wheat Blackberry Muffins

I have to admit something. I really don't like baking all that much. I mean, I like freshly baked goods. But there's something about all the measuring and mixing and equipment that's typically involved and oftentimes unavoidable in baking. Maybe it's the all important precision that I don't really enjoy. I prefer the simple, no-fuss recipes when it comes to baking. Nothing fancy. I leave the fancy stuff to my sister. She's the pastry chef of the family. But in any case, my new husband really likes baked goods and I can predict that my usual avoidance of baking may not go over well in our household. At least I have someone to bake for now, and perhaps I will begin to love it. I'm willing to give it a chance.
I made these muffins recently and I really enjoyed how they came out (so did he). What I liked about them was that all the ingredients were basically put in one big mixing bowl and no electric mixer was required. What I really liked about them was the fact that they were whole wheat, made with lovely plump antioxidant-rich blackberries, and topped with the all-important raw sugar crust. In case you haven't read about my obsession with sprinkling raw sugar on practically every baked good I make (well, the few that I make) check out  my banana bread recipe.
Anyways, these are great muffins. They're easy to make, healthy, and easily adaptable. Make them with blueberries or raspberries and I'm sure they'd be wonderful. I know I'll be making them many more times. And you can be sure that I'll be expanding my dessert-making skills and creating other delectable items in the near future.

Whole Wheat Blackberry Muffins  
(makes approximately 10 muffins)

The blackberries I used were absolutely huge so I had to cut them up into pieces about the size of blueberries, so keep that in mind if you use large blackberries.

1/2 cup raw sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon zest, preferably from an organic lemon
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup blackberries, cut up if necessary (see note above)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin liners. This recipe makes about 10 muffins, so use 10 liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and melted butter and mix really well. Add the egg and beat well until it's all incorporated.

3. Add the yogurt and lemon zest. Mix well again.

4. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a sifter (or put in a separate bowl and stir it all to combine) and sift half of the dry ingredients over the wet mixture. Mix, and then sift the rest of the flour mixture over the wet ingredients and stir the thick batter just until the flour disappears.

5. Gently add the berries. Since I used cut up blackberries, I tried really hard to gently fold them in so I wouldn't end up with blue muffins. The batter turned a bit blue, but as you can tell by the photos, they still look nice.

6. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way full. Then sprinkle them with as much raw sugar as you like. Bake them for about 25-30 minutes until the tops are lightly golden. Remove from the oven, let cool briefly, and enjoy.

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