In a perfect world, Baby June wouldn’t have to slave for hours over her laptop struggling to overcome creative constipation and googling how to write fight scenes because to be honest, she has not been in a fistfight in her life and she’s not really sure how she feels about that since it is now such a crucial thing to know for this goddamn story.
|Ah, the struggle. source|
Also, I do think a perfect world would not have nearly as much zucchini as this one, because holy shit we are really fucking sick of those things by now and our freezer is already overflowing with zucchini bread all packed away for the winter.
My mother told me that in the colder seasons, I’ll be grateful for all of these zucchinis. Not so, mama. I was perfectly happy baking with chocolate chips and stuff, not green squashy vegetables.
|Probably is. source|
But I really shouldn’t talk about that for too much longer or I might end up having a rage-induced seizure and wake up only to find that whoop-de-doo, I have a quick bread allergy. And I do like quick breads, so that would be tragic.
Thankfully, it is possible to live this idea of the perfect world through one’s fiction writing. For example, my sexy ass-kicking heroine does not have to eat summer squash at any point in the story. Magical, isn’t it? There are also plenty of scenes with food in them, of course: lots of American pancakes and French toast and Neapolitan pizza and Mexican hot chocolate. Hopefully my future readers won’t realize I’m projecting.
So what does this have to do with the muffin recipe for today? Absolutely nothing. But you tend to get a little obsessive when you have a self-inflicted draft deadline in less than three weeks. My apologies.
|Now it's MUFFIN TIME!|
I am proud to say that this recipe is very seasonal. It has two whole seasonal ingredients—blueberries and zucchini—which is incredible by Baby June’s standards. Makes you feel rather virtuous as you shove them into your cakehole.
So here it is. Another day, another use for zucchini. Enjoy.
Blueberry lemon zucchini muffins
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, July & August 2014
680 grams • zucchini, shredded • 1 ½ pounds
248 grams • brown sugar • 1 ¼ cups
54 grams • vegetable oil • ¼ cup
110 grams • bananas, mashed • ½ cup
4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon
Zest of one lemon
212 grams • all-purpose flour • 1 ½ cups
77 grams • whole wheat flour • ½ cup
9 grams • salt • 1 ½ teaspoons
5 grams • baking powder • 1 teaspoon
4 grams • baking soda • 1 teaspoon
160 grams • blueberries • 1 cup
110 grams • brown sugar • ½ cup, packed
65 grams • all-purpose flour • ½ cup
113 grams • nondairy margarine, softened • ½ cup
Handful of chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease or line with paper liners sixteen cupcake tins and set aside.
To make streusel, combine brown sugar and all-purpose flour in a bowl. Cut in margarine using your fingers until the mixture looks like wet sand. Stir in pecans.
Place zucchini in center of a dish towel. Gather the ends together and twist them to drain as much liquid as humanly possible. You should be able to wring out about ½ cup to 2/3 cup of liquid.
Whisk brown sugar, oil, bananas, vanilla, and lemon zest in a medium bowl, then fold in zucchini. In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Fold in wet mixture just until incorporated, then fold in blueberries. Divide batter between cupcake tins. Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of streusel on top of each muffin.
Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for ten minutes before removing from tins to cool completely on a wire rack. Munch.
|Notice the carefully arranged blueberries.|
In these muffins, we have found a rare upside to procrastibaking—both in using up squash and discovering a new and fabulous muffin recipe. Lemon and blueberry is one of my favorite flavor combinations, one that I don’t use nearly enough, and it is those two ingredients that take these muffins to the next level. Literally from level one (dry and crumbly health food muffins) to level two (moist and sweet and delicious and with a perfect crumb). I think level three is cupcakes, so we can’t have that if we want to be able to eat these for breakfast while maintaining one’s sense of virtuousness.
And that is a very important thing to keep in mind.