Suffice it to say that the quote above could not be a more accurate description of who I am as a human being.
I admit, many times over, that I can be foolish, immature, overbearing, bossy, demanding, and extremely critical of myself. I can be slightly narcissistic at times and then recklessly altruistic at others. That being said, I find myself on the verge of a usual mistake quite often. I find it difficult to do all of the things I want and care to do, whilst doing the necessary things that are required of most adult human beings. I admit that I get frustrated at all of the day-to-day obligations that I must finish. At the end of the week, I feel depleted. I say these things not to complain, but rather to encourage you to make time for the things you care deeply for. A balance of order and chaos is something I am constantly working towards.
I have said it many times before and it is still true; this blog has created something new and exciting within me. My head is constantly swimming with ideas, recipes, new ingredients and techniques, etc. It has birthed a new level of creativity and freedom that I had yet to experience before.
I can say now, with slight hesitation, that I didn't really know what my purpose was for a long time. I struggled almost everyday trying to decide whether finish college or pursue a more creative and independent path. It took me three years after graduating high school that I am of the creative/independent type. Every time I considered going back to college, I would think, "Hmm a business degree would be helpful... if I ever decide to open my own bakery/café!" So I was constantly trying to convince myself to follow the path of a higher education but it always led back to me doing my own thing.
I still dream of owning my own Bakery/Café one day. I would enjoy so much the delights of baking fresh pastries and brewing fresh coffee each and every day. Interacting with all kinds of different humans, and at the same time, engulfing myself in my main passion. But for now I am extremely content with working on A Common Kitchen and creating new and delicious content with you all.
It's no lie that since I have created this blog that my mood has improved immensely. I feel more free and creative and that is exactly what I had been needing all this time.
The Best Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping and Crème Fraîche Glaze
(Makes About 18 Muffins)
For the Muffins
1 3⁄4 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Pint Fresh Blueberries- washed and patted dry
3⁄4 Cup Whole Milk, room temp.
1⁄4 Cup Crème Fraîche (can be substituted for an equal amount of sour cream)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
8 Tablespoons Butter, softened
2⁄3 Cup White Granulated Sugar
1 Egg, room temp.
1 Egg Yolk, room temp.
For the Brown Butter Streusel Toppings (Two Different Kinds)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour (divided)
1 Cup White Granulated Sugar (divided)
4 Tablespoons Butter
¼ Cup Freeze Dried Blueberries (crushed into a course powder w/ a Mortar and Pestle)
For the Crème Fraîche Glaze
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
2-3 Tablespoons Milk
3 Tablespoons Crème Fraîche
For the Muffins:
1. Preheat oven to 400°f and place an oven rack perfectly in the middle of your oven. Prepare two muffin pans-- or enough that you can make 18 muffins-- and line them with paper baking cups.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Whisk to fully combine. Remove two tablespoon of the flour mixture and toss the blueberries in it in a separate small bowl. Make sure the berries are fully coated. This step will ensure that all of the blueberries won't sink to the bottom of our muffins!
3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, Crème Fraîche, and vanilla. Set aside.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a handheld mixer), whip the butter on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and pale in color-- about 3 minutes. Add in the sugar and whip again on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add in the egg and yolk and mix again until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Now, pour in half of your dry ingredients and half of your wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and mix just until combined. Repeat with the remaining halved of dry and wet ingredients. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl and mix on low speed once more for no more than 10 seconds. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the blueberries until they are distributed evenly. Don't apply too much force during this step or else the blueberries will burst and make your batter streaky and gray.
5. Using a large ice cream spoon (or a regular spoon), fill the muffin cups 3⁄4 of the way full. You should get 18 muffins with the recipe depending on how much you fill each one. Gently tap the muffin tin(s) on the counter to release any air pockets and to level the batter out. Set aside and prepare your streusel topping.
For the Brown Butter Streusel Toppings:
1. In two separate bowls, divide the flour and sugar evenly between them- ½ cup of each. In one of the bowls, add the crushed blueberries. Leave one of the bowls with only flour and sugar. Whisk the ingredients in all three bowls until fully combined.
2. Now make the Browned Butter: In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the butter and place the pan over medium heat. Keep your eye on the butter as it doesn't take long to brown. Occasionally swirl the pan to mix, once a minute or so. You will start to see the butter foam and change in color. It will go from a yellow/golden color, to a golden/tan, then finally a toasty brown color (at this stage the butter will also have a nutty aroma). Once you see this color and can smell the nuttiness, remove the pan from the heat.
3. Pour in two tablespoons of browned butter into each of the bowls. Using a fork, gently mix together the streusel. You want a mix of small and big pieces of streusel. Repeat with the other bowl of streusel topping.
4. Once both of your streusel toppings are prepared, spoon a tablespoon or two of each different streusel on top of nine muffins. Repeat with the second streusel mixture. Place your muffin tins on a large baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out with only a few crumbs on it. Half way through baking (at ten minutes) rotate your pans 180° to keep them from cooking unevenly.
5. At this point, let the muffins cool for five minutes and eat them as is or with a pad of butter on top. However, I recommend making the Crème Fraîche Glaze recipe that follows.
For the Crème Fraîche Glaze
1. In a medium sized bowl, sift in the powdered sugar. Whisk in two tablespoons of milk. Add in the Crème Fraîche and whisk until fully combined and smooth. If needed, add one more tablespoon of milk at a time until the glaze is the consistency you would like, or until it coats the back of a spoon.
2. Use a spoon or small piping bag with the tip cut off to drizzle a healthy amount of the glaze on top of the muffins.
3. These muffins are wonderful served the same day they were made but can be stored in an airtight container and put in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
*Note for the glaze: I suggest glazing the muffins right before you eat them. If you glaze them too early and then don't eat them for a couple hours, the glaze will make the streusel topping mushy. You can save the glaze in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. Put it in the microwave for about 10 seconds when you're ready to use it.