Perfect blueberry muffins

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I know, I know, this is my third recipe that uses blueberries. But they’re still in season, and who couldn’t use a good recipe for blueberry muffins?

The truth is that I used to dislike blueberries — not as much as I hate raspberries, but they definitely weren’t something I’d choose. I’d avoid them, instead using strawberries and blackberries in recipes. Clearly, I’ve since learned to love them and what their flavor can do for baked goods.

This recipe doesn’t take much time or effort. It’s another recipe from “The Joy of Cooking,” but the original offered too many options — butter or oil, milk or cream, sugar or brown sugar. After trying a few different mixtures, this became the winning combination for me.

The whole process takes about a half hour and uses ingredients readily available in most kitchens. Small things won’t make or break this recipe, either. If you don’t have nutmeg, leave it out. If you want to add a dash of cinnamon, go for it. If you only have cream or soy milk, use those instead. If you want to use more blueberries than the recipe calls for, have at it. If you have an aversion to blueberries, replace them with blackberries or cherries.

Every once in a while it’s nice to have something other than cereal, yogurt or eggs for breakfast. Freshly baked muffins can stand in for toast with your morning cup of coffee, and are a nice treat to bring to the office. Your coworkers will appreciate it.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (reduce by 1/2 teaspoon if at high altitude)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
Brown sugar

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a 12-muffin pan or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, butter and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix. The batter should not be smooth. Add the blueberries and stir until just incorporated.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack. Serve as soon as possible, preferably within a few hours of baking.

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