Monday, December 21, 2009

Heavenly Mountain Blueberry Muffins

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

“A film is just like a muffin. You make it. You put it on the table. One person might say, 'Oh, I don't like it.' One might say, 'It's the best muffin ever made.' One might say, 'It's an awful muffin.' It's hard for me to say. It's for me to make the muffin."-- Denzel Washington

Hello Old Man Winter! Today is the first day of winter--my not so fave season of the year but I deal. Earlier in the day you wouldn't know it if you were at Lake Tahoe. After swimming (in the heated indoor pool not the lake) the air was warm, the way I like it. But as the afternoon grew into what's supposed to be the shortest night of the year, the temperature dropped. And now, it's dark outside and snowing. Actually, it's in between a light flurry and light snow. And, of course, it inspired me to bake a batch of muffins...

I love the creamy Winter Wonderland Fresh Fruit Muffins that I made a while ago. But over the weekend I purchased fresh blueberries to whip up scones. Instead, I chose muffins because muffins, including pumpkin and oatmeal, make me happy. They're not too big and they're not too small. They're a perfect size. These are not as sweet at the Fruit Muffins but they are moist. You can taste the juicy whole blueberries, one by one. Also, I added lemon extra virgin olive oil, orange zest, and pecans to give it a Northern Californian sunny twist despite that it's wintertime. (Californians are tagged "health nuts" and it pleases me to add ingredients like these.) The European Style butter is a phase I'm going through. It does make your baked goods creamy and sweet. And for those serious snow people, today I thought of Heavenly Mountain Resort where there is a growing amount of the fresh white powder (both manmade and natural)--a draw for tourists and local snow lovers. Me? Not so much. I prefer nice sprinkles of sugar.

Heavenly Mountain Blueberry Muffins
* * *
1 1/2 cups all natural whole wheat flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large brown egg
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons lemon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup European Style butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon allspice
1- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, whole
1 tablespoon orange rind
confectioner's or granulated sugar
pecans, chopped
Melt butter in a pan on low heat. In a bowl mix butter with beaten egg and sugar. Combine mixture with flour, powder, soda. Stir in milk and berries. Add spice and vanilla. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or till golden brown and muffin tops bounce back at a finger's touch. Cool for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle top with sugar (nuts optional). Makes 12 medium muffins.

The jury is in. My sibling favored the Winter Wonderland wonders because of the Twinkie Effect (sweet cream cheese frosting). And he announced "I don't like orange flavored muffins or nuts." Me? I like these semi-healthy muffins (blueberries are rich in antioxidants like olive oil and dark chocolate). These friendly muffins are not too sweet but sweet enough. To me, they're a nice Californian-type muffin and ideal to team with a cup of chamomile or green tea --and stay indoors on a chilly winter day with a few inches of that white stuff on the ground.


  1. oh yum! these muffins look AMAZING!!!

  2. Hi Simply Life, Getting fresh fruit in the winter is a must-have. I got those blueberries (2 for 1 sale--$6.00). A bit pricey but worth it. Do you ever use frozen fruit in dishes? I thought about it (like cranberries) but in CA we often get most produce here year round (just more costly).