One of my proudest accomplishments while on maternity leave was managing to whip up moderately complicated recipes when June was napping. While I usually find cooking under pressure a little stressful, I loved how these kitchen challenges kept me on my toes and put my organizational skills to the test (Hello, mise-en-place!). Or maybe I was too sleep deprived to think clearly…
One of the most delectable baking-while-the-baby’s-napping creations were these Blueberry Sour Cream Cardamom Muffins. The original recipe by Eugenia Bone for Food & Wine magazine calls for cinnamon in the streusel topping and lemon zest in the batter; however, I swapped both out in favor of the warm, sweet scent of cardamom. The spice pairs beautifully with blueberries and makes streusel sing.
I didn’t manage to capture my usual step-by-step photos (that would’ve been too ambitious an endeavor), but this muffin doesn’t require much hand-holding. “Dry” ingredients are combined with “wet” ones (some lumps are a good thing), streusel is prepared and sprinkled on top, and everything is baked until done. Eat ’em warm from the oven, or if you’re in a similar boat, while the baby’s down for a nap.
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
- 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 rounded cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 rounded cup frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping. Rub with your fingers to form coarse crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Butter a 12-cup muffin pan. In a medium bowl, whisk 1 1/2 cups of flour with the cardamom, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the egg at medium speed until frothy. Add the sugar and melted butter and beat until pale yellow, 1 minute. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla until blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until almost blended. In a bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour. Using a rubber spatula, fold the blueberries into the batter.
Fill the muffin cups three-fourths full of batter and sprinkle with the topping. [Note: the batter will be super-thick]. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool on a rack.
Makes 12 muffins
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine.