Baking Through the Alphabet: E is for Earl Grey Donuts (baked) with a Blueberry Glaze

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I thought I would post another letter before the year ended…but obviously I didn’t. Winter break is over (insert sadface), but it was a good three weeks. I spent the first week plus some at work, a couple more days at a church retreat, and the remaining days with my family and friends. It’s always a joy to be at home, and it makes me happy to see old faces back home for the holidays.

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2014 is here, 2013 is gone (*whispers* foreverrrr. If anyone got that Friends reference…you make me proud), and winter quarter is here! I’m not going to go into too much detail, but 2013 was a good year. A bunch of trials and struggles, but I know that God is sovereign and has planned all things for a greater purpose.

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Something that comes with each new year is new year resolutions. I used to make resolutions, but stopped once I failed to keep up with them. As for this year…I’m not sure. I haven’t really sat down to think about my resolutions, but I do know one of them is be more consistent with my blog posts (sorry all!!). One for sure resolution is to glorify God in all that I do. And only through the grace of God may I do so.

One more thing before I get to the donuts (or doughnuts? what?): The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. Read it. It’s an encouragement. I’m reading it too.

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E is for earl grey (baked) donuts with a blueberry glaze. I had originally planned to do earl grey macarons for the letter E, but that one totally flopped. I tried a new recipe and the shells just looked like junk. I did tint it a pretty blueish/gray color though! But the shells didn’t come out right, and the filling was too runny. I’ll try them again eventually! You’ll find out when I do.

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But I finally caved and bought donut pans–they’re so cute! I love donuts, but I hate dealing with all the oil after you fry them, so I figured baking them would be the way to go. BUT DISCLAIMER: if you’re thinking baked donuts=yeasty, bready donuts, then you’re wrong, and this recipe may not be the right one for you. Baked donuts taste more like muffins instead of bread, but having them in a donut shape do make them much more fun.

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I added two earl grey tea bags to the donut batter–I steeped one bag in the hot milk, and another bag I tried crushing the tea leaves and then threw them in with the dry ingredients. I made a blueberry glaze to go on top, and I really do like the combination, but to be honest, the blueberry flavor overpowered the earl grey flavor. If I were to make this again, I’d probably try either a regular vanilla glaze, or an earl grey glaze. Regardless, the donuts were moist and the earl grey flavor was there. Again, they had a muffin texture to them rather than a bready texture, but I’m glad that I didn’t have to deal with leftover oil and all the excess fat if I were to fry them. I like how they turned out! The bits of blueberries look like sprinkles. And if you like The Simpsons, these donuts look like the infamous one on the show =)

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Baked Earl Grey Donuts with Blueberry Glaze
Makes 1 dozen (I made 6 regular and 24 mini ones)
Adapted from A Beautiful Mess

Ingredients:

For the Earl Grey Donuts:
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 earl grey tea bags
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk, hot
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Blueberry Glaze:
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare your donut pans by spraying with cooking spray.

2. For the donuts: Open one tea bag, and pour out the leaves into a small bowl. Using a spoon (or a mortar and pestle if you have it), crush up the big tea leaves by pushing the tea leaves against the sides of the bowl with the spoon. It’s okay if you can’t get it. I just wanted didn’t want big leaves in the donuts.

3. Steep the other tea bag in the hot milk for 5 minutes. Using a fork, poke at the bag to get as much flavor out of the leaves. It’s okay if you pop the bag because the leaves will just get mixed into the donut dough. Toss the tea bag.

4. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (first five listed above). In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (the last five listed above, including the steeped milk–make sure it’s not too hot or it’ll cook the eggs).

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir just until combined.

6. Fill the prepared donut pans 2/3 full with batter (don’t fill too much, or else they’ll come out looking like mini bundt cakes). You can spoon in the batter, but I poured the batter into a pastry bag and piped the batter into the pans for better control. Bake them for 10-13 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If you’re making mini donuts, bake them for 8-10 minutes. Let the donuts cool before dipping them in the glaze.

7. For the blueberry glaze: Place blueberries, powdered sugar, and lemon juice in a food processor, and pulse until smooth.

8. Dip the cooled donuts in the glaze, and let them set before serving. Enjoy!

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!

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Baking Through the Alphabet: B is for Blueberry and Cream Cookies (A Momofuku Recipe)

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I’m back. One month and 8 days later. At this rate, I’ll finish my “baking through the alphabet” series in two years…hopefully that won’t happen! I know I haven’t been baking too much this past quarter. My friends ask me how my alphabet series is coming along, and I always say “I’m still on the letter A…but I’m getting there!” And I’m there now, starting with B! Making baby steps.

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I’m eight weeks into my fall quarter, so that means two more weeks of school (or 1.5, I should say), then finals week, then WINTER BREAK! Not that I’ll be doing a lot, but it’ll be nice to be back home during the week. This quarter has been one of the craziest yet, but not in the usual way. LIFE has been crazy, I should say. But hey, I’m still breathing, I still have my salvation, life is good.

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It took me foreverrrrrrr to decide what to do for the letter B. I wanted to do bo luo baos, but was too lazy to go buy bread flour. I wanted to make banana cream pie, but making a pie just seemed so tedious (I’ve never made a pie before! One of these days…). So there I was, flipping through my favorites section on foodgawker, when I found this–Momofuku’s blueberry and cream cookies. I’ve never had anything from the Milk Bar (AKA Momofuku Milk Bar), and I only heard about them through Facebook (I think a friend posted about them or something). But from what I hear and read, baked goodies from there are supposed to be really good. And I find their recipes online, and they’re super interesting and incorporate all these different things to it like “cereal milk” and “cornflake crunch.” Intriguing huh!

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These cookies are really good–trust me. The edges are crisp and the center is chewy, just the way I like them. It’s not too sweet, and the blueberries add a nice tartness to the cookies. They remind me of a blueberry muffin top. These cookies are different than your normal recipe; there’s an extra step of adding “milk crumbs,” which is just nonfat dry milk powder, butter, and white chocolate. It’s an extra step, but I think it’s totally worth it! It adds a different taste to the cookies, and it’s the “cream” aspect for your blueberry and cream cookies! Don’t worry, making the milk crumbs is easy; it kind of reminds me of making a graham cracker crust for a cheesecake. DO IT. It adds this extra “milky” taste in the cookies that you really don’t find in other ones, and I like it and it’s delicious! They’re thick and chewy, and I love the cracked aspect on top of the cookies. I have no idea what the real cookies are supposed to taste like, but if my cookie is supposed to be a copycat of the ones from the store, then the real ones must be HECKA GOOD.

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Blueberry and Cream Cookies
Makes 12 to 17 Cookies
From Momofuku Milk Bar

Ingredients:

225 g (16 tbs) butter, at room temperature
150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
150 g (2/3 cup) light brown sugar
100 g (1/4 cup) glucose, or 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 eggs
320 g (2 cups) flour
2 g (1/2 tsp) baking powder
1.5 g (1/4 tsp) baking soda
6 g (1 1/2 tsp) kosher salt
1/2 recipe milk crumbs, recipe follows
130 g (3/4 cup) dried blueberries

1. Cream together the butter, sugars, and glucose (or light corn syrup) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (I used an electric mixer) on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.

2. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than a minute. Don’t overmix the dough, and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. On low speed (I did this part by hand), add the milk crumbs and mix until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 seconds. Add the dried blueberries, and mix them in for 30 seconds.

4. Portion out the cookie dough into balls (mine were probably 1.5-2 tablespoons, or use a 2 3/4 oz ice cream scoop) onto parchment-lined (I used Silpat) sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie balls flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. I rolled the dough into balls after I refrigerated it, then refrigerated the dough balls again. Make sure you don’t bake them from room temperature, or they won’t bake correctly!

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange the chilled dough balls at least 4-inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes until faintly browned on the edges but bright yellow in the center. Rotate your pans halfway through if necessary. The cookies should puff, crackle, and spread. 

6. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans. The cookies will keep fresh at room temperature for five days. Enjoy!

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Milk Crumbs
Makes about 250 g (2 1/4 cups)

Ingredients:

40 g (1/2 cup) milk powder
40 g (1/4 cup) flour
12 g (2 tbs) cornstarch
25 g (2 tbs) sugar
2 g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
55 g (4 tbs) butter, melted
20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder
90 g (3 oz) white chocolate, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the 40 g (1/2 cup) milk powder, flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter, and stir until a mixture starts to come together and forms small clusters.

3. Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should sandy, and (as the site puts it) your kitchen should smell like buttery heaven. Let the crumbs cool completely.

4. Crumble any crumb clusters that are larger than 1/2 inch in diameter. Put the crumbs in a medium bowl, and mix in the 20 g milk powder until it is evenly distributed.

5. Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs, and toss until the clusters are coated with the chocolate. Keep tossing them every five minutes until the chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to a month.

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!

Fruit Tarts II

IMG_4088 Two weeks late, but…I’M 20!!! IMG_4086 I know I’m still young, but God has been faithful to me these past 20 years. It was a blessed birthday, and I’m thankful for everything!

I celebrated with my family:

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Celebrated my birthday at midnight with my roommates: IMG_4488 At work, my coworkers decorated my cubicle and gave me this AWESOME mini pie pan (which is perfect for this recipe):

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Then that night, I was surprised by J! I was under the impression that I was going to dinner with my roommates. I decided to nap between work and dinner, then I woke up to noise and someone poking my nose…and it was J! He drove to Irvine to surprise me =). We walked to the car, and found two more friends. Then we got into the car and they kept saying we were going to McDonald’s (totally didn’t fool me, by the way), but we ended up at an all you can eat KBBQ restaurant, where I was surprised again with more friends! Then during dinner, my sister and her boyfriend surprised me with a yummy strawberry tiramisu birthday cake =). Indeed a good surprise–good job J and thank you friends!!! =) :

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It was a very blessed birthday, and…I am thankful =). IMG_4097 Remember the fruit tarts I made last summer? Today, I bring to you all my new favorite fruit tart recipe. It’s pretty close to the one I made last time, but I think these are much better and a lot easier. This time around, I made a bunch of differently sized tarts. I like the crust because it’s so rich and buttery, and it goes great with the extra chocolate layer i spread on before I layer in the custard. The custard is AMAZING. I can eat it right off the spoon. And my favorite part? The entire custard is made in the microwave. Yup, no more having to worry about scrambled eggs, boiling the milk, or making sure the milk doesn’t burn or form a skin. You dump in all the ingredients, whisk it, and stick it in the microwave for a total of six minutes. It’s creamy, eggy, and perfect for these fruit tarts. And don’t worry, there’s a little more custard than needed for these tarts, so feel free to eat that with a spoon =).

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Fruit Tarts
Makes 13-14 mini tarts, or a large tart + a few smaller ones
Adapted from From Salad in a Jar

Ingredients:

For the Tart Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), chilled
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted

For the Custard Filling:
2 3/4 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. For the crust: Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add slices of the butter to the flour, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg yolk mixed with milk, and pulse until all the ingredients are moistened. Continue to pulse until the dough starts to stick together. Add a little milk if the dough seems to be too dry. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, grease your molds with cooking spray. When the dough is chilled, roll pieces of the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap into a circle slightly larger than your tart molds. Press the dough into the molds, keeping the thickness consistent. Trip off the excess, and continue to do so for all molds until you have used up all the dough. You can use the extra scraps to make another tart if you have enough. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.

3. Place the frozen tart shells on a cookie sheet (the original instructions say to press a small piece of foil down into each crust. I got lazy and didn’t). Bake at 400F for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown. When done, prick the bottom again to release some steam. Some of the bottoms may have puffed up, and that’s ok. Spread a thin layer of the melted chocolate onto the crust and let harden.

4. For the Custard Filling: Whisk together the milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave 6 minutes, whisk until smooth  after three minutes, then every minute after that. Add the butter and vanilla; whisk until smooth.

5. For Assembly: Fill each baked tart with the custard filling. Top and decorate with fruit of your choice. Enjoy!

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!

Blueberry Doughnut Muffins with a Lemon Glaze

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Happy Tuesday!

There’s only a little over a month of summer break left. I think I’ve done my share of baking this past summer already, but I still have a long to-do list before school starts again. I have about 9 macaron orders on hold and two birthday cakes to do in September. I’m tired…but I still like it. I will admit that I get really lazy at times (hence the 9 backed-up orders) and get tired of making the same thing, but at the same time knowing that someone wants my baked goodies makes everything so much better. I’m getting there!

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Summer’s not over yet, so I won’t make a post on that just yet. But what is almost over is blueberry season. It’s sad because blueberries are my favorite berries! I’m trying to take advantage of blueberry season, so I keep buying blueberries…then as I result I have to keep finding new recipes to use up these pints and pints of blueberries. I’m not complaining, though =).

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After gawking (hehe) through foodgawker, I found these doughnut blueberry muffins with a lemon glaze. I’ve made regular doughnut muffins, and I was pretty pleased with the results. Doughnut muffins are kind of like cake doughnuts in muffin form and not fried. It’s definitely less greasy. I loved these muffins (even though I did sort of overbake them a little bit). I loved the flavors and the combination of the lemon zest and blueberries, and the glaze was perfect with the rest of the muffin. I think I’ll probably try using lemon juice instead of water for the glaze, just because I love the extra tartness =). Yummy, and totally perfect for this summer season!

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Blueberry Doughnut Muffins with a Lemon Glaze
Makes 12 muffins (I had enough for an extra mini loaf)
From My Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

For the muffins:
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/3 cup fresh blueberries

For the glaze:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
1 cup powdered sugar; sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon warm water

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin, or line with 12 paper muffin cups.

2. For the muffins: In a bowl, mix together the lemon zest and sugars (granulated and brown). Use your fingertips or a fork to incorporate the zest and sugars together. (It smells great huh!!)

3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and lemon sugar (from step two) until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Make sure everything is throughly combined, being careful to not over mix. Fold in the blueberries.

5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans, filling the cups until they are 3/4 full. Bake them for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown , or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

6. Meanwhile, for the glaze: mix together the melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and water. Whisk until smooth.

7. When the muffins are slightly, dip the top of the muffin into the glaze, and set on a wire rack (make sure you put something under the rack because it will drip!) and allow the glaze to harden. If you have extra, double dip and glaze your muffins twice!

8. Serve warm, or let them cool completely on a rack. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day. Enjoy!

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!

Blueberry Custard Pie Bars

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I helped out with a retreat this past weekend with some AACF brothers and sisters. I took care of the infants group (6 months-2 years), and I must say…THEY ARE SO CUTE. We only had three infants, but one of them got sick after the first session. I honestly don’t think I did much; I think I spent more time hanging out with AACFers than I did with the kids, haha! But I really did enjoy getting to know them more since I’ve been kinda MIA this past year. I’ll be back, I promise! It was also fun to be able to hang out with the other helper, who’s married with two kids. It’s nice to be able to talk to older women and to listen to the wise things they have to say. All in all, it was fun!

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There is one moment that I must share, though. Since the infants were on a different rotating schedule (basically nonexistent rotations) than the other groups, we dropped by the red group, which were the 3-5 year olds. D’s (the one that got sick) brother J was in that group, so we dropped by to say hi. J was at the crafts table with another kid, L. This was the conversation:

L: J, is that your brother? (pointing at D)
J: Yeah, it is!
L: HE LOOKS LIKE AN ALIEN!!!!!
Me: That’s not nice! Don’t say that!
L: BUT HE LOOKS LIKE AN ALIEN!

Heh, kids just say that darndest things. It was encouraging to see the kids become attached to us so quickly and so excited to learn and play. =) Thanks for the opportunity!

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Anyways, it’s berry season! I love berries, but I think the only berries that I enjoy baked in desserts are blueberries. I’ve made a few recipes with strawberries baked inside the cake, but they’ve never really appealed to me. But blueberries…they are another story. I love how they just ooze out.

IMG_3656I remember last summer I went through a phase with blueberries because Sam bought this 5 pound box from Costco. As a result, I made Blueberry Crumb Muffins and Blueberry Pull Apart Bread. It’s one year later, the blueberries are back, so today I present to you all…

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BLUEBERRY CRUMB BARS. I’ve already made these four times in the past week. My friend T shared this recipe with me, and I love it! It’s a sweet custard with blueberries and a thick graham cracker crust. It’s a really light, refreshing, and easy dessert. I do like how this is LOADED with blueberries–this recipe uses 1.5 pounds of blueberries! Take advantage of berry season y’all, and make this!

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Blueberry Custard Pie Bars 
Makes one 9×13″ pan
Adapted From Butter Baking

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (28 squares)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the Custard Filling:
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
500g blueberries (18 oz); I used fresh, you can use frozen

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a 9×13 inch baking tray with parchment paper.

2. For the Crust: In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Pour the crumbs into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 7 minutes; leave the oven on when done.

3. For the Filling: Beat the eggs until combined. Add the sugar; beat until foamy. Add the sour cream, flour, cornstarch, and salt, and beat until incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.

4. Fold in the blueberries. Pour the custard mixture over the crust and smooth out. The batter will be thin.

5. Bake until the center is set, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate and cut into bars/squares. Enjoy!

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Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!

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Blueberry Crumb Muffins

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It’s been a while…sorry readers! I’ve been pretty caught up with school due to midterms. This past week I had a paper and midterm on Tuesday, and back to back midterms on Thursday. I needed to stay up to do work/study…so I actually got my first coffee-like drink from Starbucks. I usually get hot chocolate or some other non-coffee drink, but this time I got a skinny vanilla latte and skinny caramel macchiato (don’t worry, they were on two separate occasions). Both were pretty good, but I’m still not a super huge coffee fan. They did the trick though and kept me up long enough to get more studying in.

But… HURRAY!!!! I’m finally done with midterms (I have one more on Thursday, but it can wait). I’ve been itching to bake, but I figured I should probably blog first. Today I present to you all…BLUEBERRY CRUMB MUFFINS!

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Yes, this is from the same box of blueberries Sam bought from Costco. Diana is a blueberry-aholic (how appropriate considering she just turned 21 HAHA). Okay, maybe not that extreme, but I know she really likes blueberries. Anyways, the muffins came out to be super delicious–I loved how the blueberries burst and how the crumb topping just complemented everything. The muffins stayed moist and were perfect the next morning for breakfast; I brought some to work and my coworkers loved them! I’d definitely try this recipe again, and I hope you do too. It’s 9 in the morning and blogging about this is making me hungry…blueberry muffins for breakfast would sound really good right now actually…hm. We’ll see what I can do.

Photo Credit: Samantha Ho

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Blueberry Crumb Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Adapted 
All Recipes

Ingredients:

For the muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the muffins: Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the vegetable oil, milk, egg, and vanilla. Mix this with the flour mixture–do not overmix or you’ll end up with a tough muffin. Fold in the blueberries.

For the crumb topping: Mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.

For assembly: Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full . Sprinkle the tops with the crumb topping mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

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Enjoy!

Soli Deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!

 

Blueberry Pull Apart Bread

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My roommate bought a two pound box of blueberries from Costco which led to snacks for class and a new ingredient for dessert. There’s something about blueberries (besides the fact that they are not blue on the inside at all! Before they’re baked, that is. They’re like mini grapes pre-cooking/baking!) that make you want to keep eating.

Anyway, blueberries in a dessert is just as good, maybe a little less healthy, but once in a while is okay right?? In that case, blueberry pull apart bread: soft, yummy bread filled with cinnamon-y and buttery and BLUEBERRY goodness. It’s a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it in the end. Anyways, enough yapping; here’s the recipe! And some step-by-step photos by my lovely roommate aka blueberry purchaser Samantha Ho!

Blueberry Pull Apart Bread
Makes one loaf
from 
Bex Built a Family

Ingredients:

For the dough:
2 3/4 cups bread flour (or all-purpose)
1/4 cup sugar (you might want to increase this; the bread wasn’t very sweet. BUT it should be perfect with the icing!)
1 envelope rapid rise yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup whole milk
half stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temp.
1 tbsp. cinnamon

Blueberry filling:
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen is fine)
half stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 – 2 tbsp. cinnamon
2-3 tbsp. sugar

Icing (optional):
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp. whole milk

Warm the 1/3 cup of milk (in a saucepan or the microwave), then stir in the yeast to activate. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add in the water, eggs, and vanilla extract. It’ll look a little dry, but add in your milk and yeast mixture until it starts to come together. Don’t worry if the dough is sticky–that’s how it’ll be.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, adding flour and kneading until the dough isn’t sticky anymore. Keep kneading until the dough turns into a smooth ball, but don’t over knead. Place your dough ball into a greased bowl, cover with a warm towel, and let is rise until doubled. It should look like this after it rises:

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Nice and puffy! Poke the dough; if it holds the shape of your thumb, you’re good to go.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and use a rolling pin (or even cup) to roll the dough into a rectangle that’s about 1/4″ thick. Brush the top with the butter, then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon:

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Slice the rectangle into 6 even strips. Sprinkle some blueberries on a strip (save about 1/4 cup for later), then lay another strip on top. Add more blueberries, lay another strip, add more blueberries, then lay another strip. This is how it should look like:

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Look at all those blueberries!! Anyways, almost done! Cut the strip stack into four even squares (as seen in the left part of the above picture). Don’t worry if it’s not perfect–everything will get stuffed into a loaf pan.

Layer your dough squares into a greased loaf pan, with the squares on their sides. It should look like a long flip book! Stuff the blueberries into the cracks of squares and sprinkle some over the top.

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(I kept stuffing it with blueberries…I couldn’t help myself. My roommates had to stop me before I used the whole box…)

The loaf pan won’t be completely stuffed, but don’t worry, the bread has to go for a second rise. Cover the loaf pan and let it rise for another hour. Remove cover, and bake in a preheated 350˚F oven until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. It depends on your oven, but it took me 30-45 minutes. You can make the icing and drizzle it on top just whisk the powdered sugar and milk until smooth), but it’s totally optional. I opted out and drizzled my bread pieces with honey instead.

This bread is definitely better the day it’s made, but it’s still good the next day too. Just warm up the pieces in the microwave and drizzle with honey. So so good.

Anyways, I hope y’all try it out. And if you do, let me know in the comments below! Until next time,

Soli deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!