When I read about Wonder Sophie’s Muffin Monday Round Up web event, I was a little surprised to find myself daydreaming about blueberry lemon muffins. To memory, I don’t think I even had blueberry lemon muffins as a child- but recently I’ve been thinking about lemon desserts a lot, and I think this somehow joined up with thoughts of childhood blueberry muffins to create a whole new muffin concept simmering in my brain. Sophie asked us to ” include ingredients of your childhood : favorite sweets and candies, small cakes of your playground, “Vache qui Rit”… and all others products who make you feel sweet nostalgia when remembering them.” Because my house was health oriented as a child, and my mother and I had various intolerances (she to dairy and soy, me to gluten), we didn’t really have candies around that would engender any kind of sweet, nostalgic yearning. But as a child, one of my favorite healthy sweet treats was frozen, sliced bananas. My mother would slice them into little wafers, put them in a pie tin that she got from the bakery she once worked at (Best Pies, in Seattle), and we would freeze them overnight. Although I didn’t really like fresh bananas, somehow when they were frozen they got this creamy, sweet texture that tasted like the mildest of ice creams- and I just loved them. I also loved frozen, not fresh, blueberries. To my taste buds, the flavor of frozen berries changed from the rather abrasive sweet or tart flavor of fresh into crystallized, sugary berry goodness. So, as a nod to those favorite childhood flavors, I created this playful muffin, which doubles as a cupcake with frosting. I hope Sophie doesn’t mind- but another not-quite-childish memory of my early college days revolved around a gluten free pumpkin bar recipe that I made with cream cheese frosting. Somehow I wanted to taste that again, stepped up a notch to be a little more adult with additional lemon zest and spices. You can leave it out and enjoy yummy muffins, or add just a little frosting for that little extra sugar rush that all kids (and adults) crave sometimes. Isn’t everything a little better with frosting? For the adult who doesn’t need to turn everything into a cupcake, here’s this recipe muffin style:
And here is the muffin gone BAD- in the best possible sense of the term- cupcake style
*warning* This frosting is super sweet. Do not consume right before bed or you may find yourself bouncing on the bed, running in the house with scissors, or pulling your cat’s tail. (Just kidding, I would never do the latter! But the bed is fair game!)
Delightfully Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Muffin Recipe
2 cups Bette Hagman’s Gluten Free Blend flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup plain or vanilla GF yogurt (or soy milk yogurt)
1/3 cup milk (if needed) (or soy milk yogurt)
1 lg egg
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 banana, sliced and frozen overnight
Prepare bananas as instructed the night before or morning if you want to serve your muffin-cupcakes at night.
Combine dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl, sifting flour if desired. Place liquid ingredients in a large bowl and beat until combined. If you like you can try whisking or beating the egg white separately and folding it into the flour, but I didn’t do this. Fold in wet ingredients into dry.
Pour batter into muffin tins and bake 20-25 minutes or until a light golden brown and muffins are springy to the touch. Cool in pan for at least 5 minutes, then cool them on a cooling rack.
If you want to add frosting, which I realize is more of a cupcake thing than a muffin thing:
Combine cream cheese, butter, lemon rind, vanilla, and salt and whisk in mixer. Add your powdered sugar gradually until you have a creamy frosting. Add your lemon juice for added flavor, or lemon flavoring, and you have a delicious, relatively lowfat frosting.