This recipe started with the Famous Department Store Blueberry Muffins recipe from KAF. It is a strong start, but mine are light, moist, soft, crunchy and packed with flavor. Some of the changes that I made and why:
-Whisking the whole recipe by hand because I have been trying to follow the Blue Zones tips for healthy living. They suggest not buying treats, only making them by hand, the old fashioned way and I love that.
-Using my vanilla sugar because it makes almost everything better.
-Grating lemon zest into the butter/vanilla sugar mixture because blueberry and lemon love each other.
-I add a little less vanilla extract and add in some almond extract to create that unmistakable aroma.
-I decrease the amount of blueberries to 1 pint (2cups) not only because we like it better that way, but also because unless it is during the end of July when I am picking 20+ lbs. of blueberries, I usually only buy one pint.
-Last but not least, instead of regular sugar I top my muffins with Sugar in the Raw because it’s crunchier and has a deeper flavor.

Equipment:
Large Bowl
Whisk
Spatula
Zester (if using lemon)
Muffin Tin (recipe makes 12)
Muffin/Cupcake papers (12)
1/4c Cookie Scoop

Ingredients:
Aerosol coconut oil (or other neutral oil spray)
8T Room temperature* butter
1c Vanilla sugar*
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
2 Large room temperature* eggs
1/2t vanilla extract
1/8-1/4t almond extract
2t baking powder
1/2t Kosher salt
2c AP flour
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk (not too cold)
2c (one pint) fresh blueberries, cleaned and dry
3T Sugar in the Raw

Procedure:
1. Preheat your oven to 375*. Line muffin tin with liners, then spray the liners lightly with aerosol coconut oil. In a large bowl combine the butter and vanilla sugar vigorously with a whisk. Add in the lemon zest if using and whisk until light. This will take a few minutes, you can also use an electric mixer if you prefer.
2. Whisk in eggs, one at a time incorporating fully after each. Whisk in the vanilla and almond extracts, the baking powder and salt.
3. Whisk in the flour and milk alternately, starting with the flour. Do not over mix here! Then add in the blueberries with a spatula, I usually crush about 1/4 cup before adding them in. (In order to not use/dirty any other tools, I pour 1/4c blueberries into the 1c measure and squish down on top with the 1/2c, works perfectly.)
4. Spray your cookie scoop lightly with the coconut oil. Fill each muffin liner with a heaping cookie scoop full of the velvety batter. Sprinkle the Sugar in the Raw using about 1/2-3/4t for each muffin.
5. Bake at 375* for 40-45 minutes, quickly turning the pan mid-way. Remove when they are golden and a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before enjoying.

* Vanilla sugar can be made by placing used vanilla bean pods into a container of white sugar for about a week. You can continue to use the same pods as long as they are fragrant (years).
* If you didn’t plan ahead and don’t have room temperature butter, you can use the defrost button on your microwave and just keep an eye that it doesn’t melt. Alternatively you can cut it up into small pieces and put it in a warm area of your kitchen while you prepare everything else.
* Again, if you didn’t have time to get your eggs closer to room temperature… An old farmer that I once worked with told me the best way to get your eggs to room temperature is to keep them in your bra until you are ready to use them. It is one of my favorite tips ever, but be careful! I once had them in my bra while vigorously whisking and crushed one in there, messy clean-up!!!

Let me know if you make these and how you enjoy them… My kids fight over these treasures!