chocolate hippos

berry berry muffins

One of my favorite morning smells is the aroma of fresh baked muffins.  Yes, I love the sugary sweet smell of cake masquerading itself as a breakfast food.  But the smell of muffins, berry-berry muffins more specifically, remind me that my daughter is home.  Because for some reason (like I miss her so much when she’s not here), I can only make berry-berry muffins when she is home.

Well, she is home until the end of January this time, so we will be having plenty of muffin mornings over the next several weeks.  I’m looking forward to that sugary sweet smell that fills my house AND reminds me of my sweet daughter.

I try to keep things healthier when eating “cake for breakfast”, so I use whole wheat pastry flour in my muffins.  Arrowhead Mills makes a whole wheat pastry flour that is sold in many grocery stores.  You could use regular whole wheat flour, but the muffins will be heavier and not as delicately flavored.  Obviously, you could use all-purpose white flour as well….but then, you are pretty much eating cake.

Berry Berry Muffins (makes 12, can be easily halved)

I add the ground flaxseed for a boost of fiber and omega 3’s when I have it on hand, but the muffins are equally delicious without it.

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup ground flaxseed (optional)

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup canola oil (you can also use 1/3 cup slightly warmed coconut oil)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup of berries, fresh or frozen, do not thaw if frozen (I use blueberries and raspberries)

1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

demerara sugar (optional for sprinkling on muffins before baking

Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.  Line a muffin pan with muffin papers or foils (I prefer foil, it keeps the muffins moist and fresh tasting).  If you don’t have papers or foils, grease the inside of each cup with butter.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and ground flaxseed (if using).  Set aside.

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In a small mixing bowl, whisk together oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla (also almond extract if using).

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Add liquid mixture to dry mixture.

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Gently fold ingredients with a spatula.

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When almost combine, fold in berries.

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Be careful not to over mix.  You may still see a little flour, thats okay.

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Fill each muffin with 1/3 – 1/2 cup batter.  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon demerara sugar on top of each muffin (optional, but it makes for a crispy-sweet muffin top).

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Bake in oven for 18-25 minutes…18-20 minutes if using fresh berries, 22-25 minutes if using frozen berries.  Toothpick inserted into center should come out clean or with few moist crumbs.  Do not overbake, as you will have dry muffins, and nobody likes a dry muffin.

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The picture above is of a muffin made without flaxseed.  If you use flaxseed, your muffins might be a little darker.  Remove from pan and cool a bit on a platter.

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Muffins are best eaten the day they are made.

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