Opponent #1: To Die For Blueberry Muffins from allrecipes.com.
After scoping the internet for a promising recipe, I came upon these, the most highly rated blueberry muffin recipe on the web. These muffins were lighter, sweeter, and cakier than the denser muffins I'm used to, and had a nice crunch (and extra sweetness) from the streusel topping. After reading through reviews, I halved the streusel topping recipe in order to cut down on the sweetness, but felt that the muffins would have been even better with less sugar in the batter itself as well. Overall, I enjoyed the moist, fluffy cake and the crumb topping, but would have preferred them to have been slightly less sweet and have more flavor in the cake, not just the topping.
To Die For Blueberry Muffin
**Along with making only half of the streusel, I opted to bake 12 regular sized muffins rather than the 8 large of the original recipe.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
for streusel topping
Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.
To make streusel crumb topping, mix 1/4 cup sugar, 1/6 cup flour, 1/8 cup butter, and cinnamon.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder. Place oil into a measuring cup, add egg and enough milk to fill to the 1 cup mark. Mix liquid into flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cup 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle with streusel topping.
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Opponent #2: Double Blueberry Muffins by Martha Stewart
It's hard to go wrong with a Martha Stewart recipe, but I had to see for myself if these blueberry muffins lived up to expectations. Chock full of blueberries, lemon zest, and cornmeal, I imagined these muffins to be a perfect blend of flavors and textures. Sure enough, the blueberries and lemon zest added a nice bright flavor, and the cornmeal resulted in a heavy, crunchy, more substantial texture like that of cornbread. Sprinkling on some sugar before baking gave the tops a crunchy, crispy, cookie-like quality. I love making homemade blueberry cornbread, and these muffins reminded me a lot of a sweeter version of my cornbread recipe. Martha Stewart's Double Blueberry Muffins were very tasty, but I couldn't decide if I wanted the slightly hard to swallow, dense cornbread-like texture in my muffins.
Double Blueberry Muffins by Martha Stewart
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups fresh blueberries
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners. (Very important! I made the mistake of greasing instead of lining and ended up with a pile of crumbled muffins)
Cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beat until combined.
In a shallow bowl, mash 1/2 cup blueberries until liquified. Add mashed blueberries and lemon zest to butter, mix until incorporated.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter, beginning and ending with flour. Gently fold in remaining blueberries.
Evenly distribute batter into muffin cups, sprinkle tops with remaining tbsp sugar.
Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack.
With each muffin mixed, baked, and happily eaten, it was time to declare a winner. After recruiting family and friends to help me make the decision, the only conclusion I could come to was that both muffins were winners, depending on personal preference. If you like heavier, more toothsome muffins with bright flavors, the Martha Stewartmuffins are the ones for you. For those who prefer light and sweet pastries, go with the allrecipes.com muffins. Personally, I liked the To Die For Blueberry Muffins recipe slightly more because of the texture. They would have been the clear winner if they were less sweet and maybe had a little lemon zest mixed in, like the Martha Stewart recipe, to give the cake some flavor. The Double Blueberry Muffins were very flavorful and yummy, but very similar to the cornbread I often bake, and I would rather have less sweet cornbread than this sweet cornbread-muffin hybrid.