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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Boysenberry Buckle Muffins

The days of summer seem years away right now.  This weekend felt very reminiscient of wintertime in Wisconsin.  Over the five years that I spent living in the midwest, I learned to adapt to the blustery winter weather.  Oh, and apparently "blustery" isn't a weather term you hear outside of the northern states.  For those of you living in the milder climates of the United States and the world, blustery means "Stay in your house or don your snowsuit."  Those winters in Wisconsin made me wish I owned one of those onesie snowsuits that you zip little kids into.  They always look so warm...

In Wisconsin, and the rest of the Midwest, you also learn the phrase "too cold to snow."  Now, this might seem a little strange, but there is a certain point where it becomes just too cold for clouds and snowflakes to form.  This is when you see a crystal blue sky outside and you know your eyeballs will freeze if you set foot outside.  I learned to layer everything, pants on top of pants, sweaters under more sweaters, two hats.

This Sunday was one of those "too cold to snow" kind of days in New York City.  Boyfriend and I were in the city meeting his dad for dinner.  We took the afternoon train to Penn station and set out to do some shopping.  Even with wearing a heavy sweater, coat, hat, scarf and gloves, I was cold.  Boyfriend said "It's so cold, my face hurts."  To which I answered "I know!  It's killing me too!"  He didn't appreciate my sixth grade humor and needed the joke explained to him... 

The only thing that my story has to do with this recipe is that I want it to be summer already.  Unfortunately, we are months away from fresh picked fruits and vegetables.  If you go to the grocery store and buy berries, it is very likely that they will be lacking flavor.  Luckily there is a solution, canned berries!

I was completely unaware that you could get almost any berry in canned form, until I was contacted by Oregon Fruits.  After seeing my post fot cherry coconut muffins, Oregon fruit contacted me about using my recipe on their website.  I ventured over there to check out their product and noticed they sell all sorts of berries and fruits!  They wound up sending me a sampling of some of their fruits, including blueberry, raspberry and gooseberry (if you know what to do with a gooseberry, let me know!).  After the hectic holiday season, I finally had the time to break out the berries and give myself a taste of summer.

One Year Ago: Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon tortilla chips

Boysenberry Buckle Muffins
Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion

If you happen to have fresh boysenberries, then feel free to use them instead of the canned variety.  While these little guys look like muffins, they actually are more like a dessert buckle.  My coworkers weren't too picky and ate them all day long!  It would seem that they are just as good for breakfast, snacktime or topped with ice cream as a dessert.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cans boysenberries, drained (1 1/2 cup fresh)

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter together for 30 seconds.  Add egg and beat to combine.  Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Alternately add flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture.  Add vanilla extract.  Carefully fold in boysenberries.

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  Add butter and cut in with two forks or a pastry blender until it looks like coarse crumbles.

Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.  Add 1/4-cup batter to each muffin and top with streusel.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the muffin tin on a wire rack.

Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!
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