05 July 2010

Muffin Monday: The Best Blueberry Muffins

*** Enjoy some great blueberry muffin recipes and 2 breads: Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Banana Chocolate Chip Bread.





From Denny: Muffin Monday is back and people are already arguing who has the very best blueberry muffin! This first recipe is from a bed and breakfast in Michigan. This bed and breakfast sports a number of interesting themed packages to enjoy.

They have a special shopping package where they have teamed up with 10 shops in their area where you can get some great discounts with the range from clothing to food and drink and even local art. These shops are a wine sellar of 200 wines from around the world, local pottery, a green recycled products shop carrying famous names, a spice merchant, a gourmet food and kitchen supply shop, an antique mall of 175 merchants, a local folk art shop and artisan hand-knit clothing.


Recipes Featured:

Becky's Best Blueberry Muffins
Sophia's Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Kale's Chocolate Zucchini Bread


A link for another blueberry muffin recipe is provided to The Bitten Word blog for a recipe from Cook's Illustrated that they gave a test drive and folks weighed in with their comments. That recipe looks like too much sugar for our house.

But you really have to know, and taste, the blueberries you are using in the recipe. Some blueberries are wonderfully sweet while others are tart or even bland and watery. I love Maine blueberries as they have the most intense blueberry flavor and are small and relatively sweet so you don't have to add much sugar.

On the flip side, down here in Louisiana where it's hot and muggy, the blueberries grow large, are mild in flavor and watery so I use the amount of sugar called for in most recipes, about 1/4 cup less. You will have to be the final judge on the sweetness level that will fit the muffin recipe best for your personal taste and whatever kind of fresh blueberries you can find in your area.




Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast


From the website: Our beautiful Victorian bed and breakfast offers inviting elegance in a wooded setting. Hardwood floors, leaded-glass windows, and wraparound porch add to the ideal surroundings. Perfect for romance or a much-needed getaway, our guest rooms are complete with antiques, cozy wing chairs, and Jacuzzis and fireplaces.

Two suites are available: the first reproduces the serenity of the north woods as a replica of the inside of a log cabin. It includes a stone-mantle gas fireplace, viewed from either the two-person Jacuzzi or the comfort of the bedroom. The second suite features the same amenities but is decorated in the flair of the late 19th century.

Another room sports a hand-painted mural that transforms the room into a canopied tree loft and is complemented by a gas fireplace.

Breakfast features such favorites as pecan streusel coffeecake, cinnamon-orange French toast, or potato quiche.

During the summer, guests can swim in the heated pool adorned with a giant mural of a sunken ship half embedded in a coral reef surrounded by a couple of hundred fish, not to mention a Mermaid or two, or walk 1/2 block to a Lake Michigan public beach to enjoy spectacular sunsets. Bicycles are available for exploring the scenic lakeshore.

In winter, X-country ski or hike along wooded paths, or visit the shops in charming Saugatuck and Douglas.

Sherwood Forest Package of the Month: Melt Your Stress Away

Melt Your Stress Away Upon arrival, you'll find a beautiful wine and cheese basket with a bouquet of fresh flowers. During your visit, you'll each experience a soothing massage in a style suited just for you and a $30 voucher good toward a romantic dinner at a fine restaurant. Upon your departure (which we're sure you'll want to delay as long as possible before returning to the real world), a gift from us: a compact disc of relaxing music and an illustrated guide to massage. The cost for this R&R is $165 with one massage; $235 with two massages (does not include room rate).


Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast

Voted #1 in Best of Personal Luxury in the State by Lake Magazine.
Featuring Fireplace-Jacuzzi suites, 1/2 blk to Lake Michigan

Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast
938 Center Street
P.O. Box 315
Saugatuck, Michigan 49453

1-800-838-1246 for reservations

Fax: (269) 857-1996
email: sf@sherwoodforestbandb.com

Keith & Susan Charak, Innkeepers


Recipes Featured:

Becky's Best Blueberry Muffins
Sophia's Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Kale's Chocolate Zucchini Bread



*** Remember to support small business in your area and when you travel. Why stay at a Big Business hotel as you travel when you can stay in a more home like atmosphere of a bed and breakfast inn? The prices are comparable, the people friendlier and your stay will be memorable.






Becky's Best Blueberry Muffins

From: Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast


Ingredients:

1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter, at room temp.
1 Cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ Cups blueberries (mash 1/2 cup with a fork)
2 Cups flour
1/2 Cup milk
1 Tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees and grease 12 muffin cups.

Beat butter until creamy, then beat in sugar, then beat in eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt.

Mix mashed berries into batter, then fold in half of flour and half of milk. Add remaining flour and milk, then fold in remaining blueberries.

Fill muffin cups and sprinkle with nutmeg sugar.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 20 minutes in pan before removing.







Sophia's Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

From: Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast


This bread is awesome; it's one of our favorites at the bed & breakfast. You'll love it, mainly because "Chocolate Rules."

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large bananas will do)
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., spray cooking oil (you can use butter) to coat the bottom of a 9 x 5 x 3-inch bread pan, then lightly dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.

Next, in a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until blended. One at a time, add eggs, beating well with a fork after each addition.

Stir in bananas, milk and vanilla until combined. Stir in flour mixture just until blended. Stir the chocolate chips. Scrape batter into a prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until you test with a knife in the center of the bread and it comes out clean.

Remove the pan to a wire rack, cool 10 minutes before removing bread from the pan, then finish cooling on the rack.

And it's chow time! (Bread can be frozen for later use, thaw overnight.)





Kale's Chocolate Zucchini Bread

From: Sherwood Forest Bed & Breakfast

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 Cups vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 Cups zucchini, grated
2 1/3 Cups flour
1/2 Cups nuts

optional: 1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa


Directions:

Combine wet ingredients, then dry ingredients, and combine. Add zucchini & nuts, bake in 2 greased loaf pans at 350 degrees F. for 45 min.



*** See Also for Muffin Monday: Muffin Monday: Sweet Potato Muffins

*** Here's another Blueberry muffin recipe to enjoy:

Best Blueberry Muffins over at The Bitten Word From Cook's Illustrated (May/June 2009)


*** Photo by thebittenword.com @ flickr


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