Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Baking for some Very Important People

OCT is meeting with his graduation committees today for the last time before he prepares for his thesis and defense. After that, he will be called Dr Ong. Too bad there isn't any nice designation for the wife. Anyway, OCT requested some "not too sweet breakfast pastries" for the committee.

After consulting my piles of recipes, I settled on a Blueberry Muffin with Almond Streusel Topping. Not only that it's presentable, but it's also something healthy, wholesome and tasty. Compared to the rest of muffins I made before, this Blueberry Muffins used much less sugar and oil. Most the sweetness comes from the Streusel, which one has complete control on how much to put.

I read somewhere that blueberries are packed with antioxidant and vitamins but I rarely buy the fresh stuff. They are simply too expensive here. I used the frozen berries from Trader Joes instead. They have been chucked in the freezer since Summer, when I used them to make smoothies.

I tried one of the muffins when it came out from the oven and thought it wasn't sweet enough. Interestingly, after sitting overnight, the flavour improved. And the texture was still moist and tender.
A healthy option for weekend breakfast. According to the recipe, these muffins freeze well. Too bad I run out of blueberries, or I could whip up another batch for another SUPER VIP coming to our place in less than 48 hours!

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
adapted from Southern Living

1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup uncooked regular oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Pulse almonds 2 or 3 times in a blender or food processor until chopped. Add brown sugar and 1 tablespoon flour; process 5 seconds. Add butter; pulse 5 or 6 times or until mixture is crumbly. Stir in oats; set aside.
Combine 2 cups flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

Whisk together buttermilk, oil, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.

Toss blueberries with remaining 2 tablespoons flour; gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full; sprinkle batter with oat mixture.

Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove immediately from pans, and cool on wire racks.

Note: Freeze muffins up to 1 month.

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