I know, I know. More baking? I can't help myself.
Dan and I had strategically scheduled vacation this week, and silly me had visions of us playing on the beach every day with James...building sand castles and soaking up the sun. But after weeks and weeks of gloomy, cloudy, gray skies (Monday it was actually raining on my head on our morning walk), it was time for a getaway. My brilliant husband had the idea of heading east - to the westernmost extent of my beloved Sonoran desert. I jumped online and minutes later we had a condo booked for two nights in beautiful Borrego Springs. Interesting fact about this place: Borrego Springs holds the unique distinction of being the only California community completely surrounded by a state park (Anza-Borrego, the largest desert state park in the nation).
I had never been before, but Dan grew up going to Borrego and knew I would love it. And I did. It was breathtakingly beautiful. We had three lovely days of welcomed heat and gorgeous views of the expansive desert mountains surrounding the area. James loved going in the pool for the first time, and seeing frogs, dragonflies, rabbits, and lizards.
And I made these muffins. These glorious muffins were - dare I say it - THE BEST MUFFINS I HAVE EVER MADE. Yep. I combined the dry ingredients ahead of time and mixed in the melted butter, egg, buttermilk and fresh blueberries right before popping them in the oven on our first morning. Now, naturally, I thought they would be good. Blueberry muffins usually are. But wow. The buttermilk made for an incredibly perfect interior and a slightly tangy flavor that really worked with the blueberries. I added some coarse sugar on top for a beautiful texture contrast and the whole shebang was a huge success. Thank you Nigella Lawson (again). It really is the little things like this that make for warm and fuzzy feelings when you're away from home.
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 large egg
1 cup fresh blueberries
coarse sugar for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin pan with paper cups. Melt the butter and set aside.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the buttermilk with the egg and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix to combine. Don't worry about lumps. They make for better muffins. Don't overmix!
Fold in blueberries and keep the mixing to a minumum.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes and let cool on a cooling rack.
Makes 12 small muffins.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson, How to Be a Domestic Goddess.