Muffin Monday: Blueberry Cinnamon Buns
My grandmother is almost like a storybook character (seriously the way I'm about to describe her will make you think that I'm just trying to be cool by inventing myself such a rockin' grandma). First of all, she does all of the great regular grandmother stuff like cook delicious meals, do fun crafts, bake wonderful Christmas cookies, and take you on exciting outings to the park- but with Tweetie (yes that's what I call my grandmother) the fun doesn't stop there- she also taught us how to meditate with the Buddhist monks (imagine listening to a tape in the car on the way to school of OOOHHHHHHHHHHMMMMM), she recites poetry off the top of her head, she marches in peace rallies, she sees far more movies in theaters than I do, she's a vegetarian, she gives historical tours of the French Quarter, she volunteers at the library and the hospital, and, at 72, she goes to a jazzercise class every morning.
That's a brief glimpse of Tweetie- so what has she to do with muffins? you might ask. Well along with being a vegetarian- Tweetie is always looking for little health tricks: a handful of almonds will give you your daily requirement of Vitamin E, soy wards of breast cancer, and one of her favorites- blueberries help with memory. Now Tweetie (who the other day was disappointed that she could only spout off about 9 of Eugene O'Neill's most famous plays-umm I was an English major and I only knew The Iceman Cometh) needs no help with her memory. However, she is convinced that the blueberries will help preserve her veritable pantheon of knowledge, and she is also dedicated to making sure that none of us fall privy to memory loss. As a result, my mom had about ten pounds of frozen organic blueberries in her freezer and with it still being hurricane season down here in New Orleans, we decided that we had to get baking (for you lucky folks who don't have hurricanes- you DO NOT want to have a freezer full of food when the electricity goes out for 3 days in 97 degree weather)!
So my mom suggested we make some good old fashioned blueberry muffins- and we have a really good blueberry muffin recipe- but- I, of course, found a different recipe in my old standard, Cookies, irresistible biscuits, brownies, and bars by Hilaire Walden (P.S. this is the last recipe I'm going to post from this book because I really think you should purchase a copy for yourself!) The recipe is called Fruit and Cinnamon Buns- they end up looking pretty similar to muffins- but they don't get that big muffin dome on the top. The crumb of these muffins is not as good as our old standby blueberry muffin but the cinnamon flavor is wonderful with the blueberries and it is hands down the easiest muffin I've ever made. You've heard of dump cakes where you just throw everything together and mix it up- well this is the dump muffin.
Fruit and Cinnamon Buns
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
scant 1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries, or black currants
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease eight muffin pans (I highly suggest using paper muffin liners because the blueberries tend to stick to the pan). With an electric mixer, beat together the first eight ingredients until smooth.
Fold the blueberries or black currants into the other ingredients until just evenly combined. Spoon the mixture into the muffin pans, filling them two-thirds full (we topped them with raw cane sugar- which gave the top a great little crunch). Bake for about 25 minutes, until a skewer or cake tester inserted in the center of a bun comes out clean. Allow to cool in the muffin pans, on a wire rack, for 10 minutes, then transfer the buns to the wire rack and allow to cool completely.