Condensed Milk Blueberry Muffins

condensed milk blueberry muffins

I adore summer. Being a gal from the south, I love the heat, the humidity (yes, I even love the humidity) and pretty much everything about summer. Summers in New York are also great because of the lack of bugs, all the great city activities, and the abundance of sweet summer fruits!

As much fruit as we eat, I wish I could say we’re part of an awesome fruit share from a quaint farm that I personally know and love, but this year we’re not. I realized I’m not the best fit for joining a CSA due to irregular schedules and my need for choice in produce. In fact, I purchase a significant amount of our fruit from Costco. Yes, I know they don’t always have organic options, but right now my family’s priority is saving a buck or two, and Costco helps us do that.

So what does one do when left with an extra pound or so of blueberries that you can no longer force your husband to eat more of? I suppose I could have made a pie, but I chose to make muffins since I also needed breakfast options for the week.

I changed up a Paula Deen recipe for these muffins, and I made her recipe even more decadent. How is that even possible? Ha, I made a way. Really, it was out of necessity considering I drank all the milk because I was on a recent Oreos kick. If you don’t know me in person, I’m actually healthier than this post is making me out to be. But I shouldn’t feel the need to justify myself, I embrace my food choices, as should you. In any case, instead of going out and buying overpriced milk in the paltry neighborhood grocery options, I looked for substitutes within my kitchen. And sure enough, I had just one can of sweetened condensed milk left! Perfect.

Since the condensed milk is already sweetened, I omitted the sugar that the original recipe called for. So much for the ultra-decadence I claimed. ;)

These muffins turned out quite perfect, I must say. They had a fluffy texture, were perfectly sweet, and not too dense. They tasted like previous muffins I’ve made with yogurt or sour cream, so I may just continue to use this recipe not out of necessity but by choice for my blueberry muffin needs.

May it be a welcome addition to your recipe box as well.

condensed milk blueberry muffins

Condensed Milk Blueberry Muffins
adapted from Paula Deen

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons turbinado sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy and pale in color. Add in can of condensed milk and continue to beat for about a minute.
4. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the milk until well incorporated and being careful not to over mix.
7. Gently fold in the fresh blueberries.
8. Scoop batter into the paper lined muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with the 2 teaspoons sugar.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.
10. Makes about 12 generously sized muffins.

Soft Pretzels

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Now I have been baking a bit this year, but I have been in comfort baking mode. What’s that mean? It means I’ve been spending time on classic favorites of mine. Oatmeal raisin cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. Banana bread. Matcha mochi. Pretty much just those — things I’ve made plenty of times before, so I haven’t had new recipes to share. Hence my excuse for not posting.

But with these pretzels here, well, it was my first time baking pretzels, and I’m so happy that I have something new to bake and share about.

The idea sparked when I ran into an old coworker not too long ago, someone I get along well with because of our mutual love for baking. So naturally, our conversation led to baking, and she mentioned how every now and then she’ll treat her family to homemade fresh baked pretzels. Wow, a treat indeed. My mouth instantly salivated at the sound of that, so I had to try it myself.

And despite my amateur pretzel rolling skills, I have to say, they turned out pretty darn well. They weren’t too fussy of a recipe, and I can see this making its way into my list of comfort baked goods.

This has rekindled my desire to continue baking new things! Now I’m brainstorming all the wonderful things I can do with yeast. For a huge bread lover like me, this journey of bread making is gonna be fun.

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Soft Pretzels

Ingredients:
2 packets (4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (about 100 degrees F)
5 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes.
2. Prepare stand mixer with dough hook attachment. In the mixer bowl, mix together dry ingredients — flour, rest of sugar, and salt.
3. Add the oil and yeast mixture, then turn on mixer to low speed (2/4) and let the mixer do the work for you. Make sure the mixture isn’t too dry. You can add in tablespoons of water if it is. Let mixer knead for about 7 minutes until dough is smooth.
4. Lightly oil a large bowl, and place the dough in the oiled bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover this with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size. When in a warm place, this should take about an hour.
5. After dough has risen, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line baking sheets with Silpat.
6. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water.
7. Take risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. (See this video for pointers! I made mine without the middle twist, but I’m also a pretzel newb.) After all the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
8. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 7 minutes.