Streusel-y Blueberry Muffins

Confession time... I had all four wisdom teeth removed a week ago, which means I've only just graduate to semi (and I do mean semi) solid foods, which means that I made these muffins ages ago and was just too lazy to post. Oops. Oh well, the blog must go on.

So. In a slightly more season-appropriate fit of baking, I trolled the web for vegan blueberry muffin recipes so that I could use up some of the 20+ pounds of blueberries my mom, sister, and I picked from a local farm last month. We're freezing bunches of them, of course, but it's still lovely to bake with fresh, local, seasonal produce. When I was a kid, the Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffin recipe had celebrity status in our house, but lately the gobs of butter it requires are a bit of a turn-off to most of us, so I went for a vegan option when I made this batch of muffins. This is the recipe I eventually chose. I know that the streusel topping negates some of the healthiness, but come on - I only used two tablespoons of Smart Balance spread out among all twelve muffins, so it's a small price to pay for the delicious, sweet chewy-crispiness of the streusel topping!

I followed the recipe pretty exactly, although we just have plain old refined white sugar (not specifically "vegan sugar") in the house, so that's what I used. Just like I did with the Pumpkin Spice Muffins, I used 1 T cornstarch and 3 T water in place of the Ener-G Egg Replacer. But when I'd mixed all the ingredients together, the batter was waaay too thick. It was barely pourable. I added a few extra tablespoons of water until it became a more liquid-y consistency, poured it into my muffin tins, added the streusel topping, and baked.

Now, before I continue, I should mention the little flour problem I had. See, the recipe calls for whole wheat flour, and since we had some sitting in the freezer, I figured I would just use that up and everything would be hunky-dory. But when my first sneaky taste of the batter yielded a rather strange taste, I began to suspect that something was amiss. It wasn't until I tried the finished product that I realized that the whole wheat flour must've been sitting in the freezer for waaay too long, because it had acquired that distinctive and unpleasant "freezer taste," that strange aftertaste that lingers in your mouth and makes you scrunch up your lips slightly as you try to figure out why your food tastes slightly off. If you know what I'm talking about, you understand, but if not, I don't think I can properly describe the flavor of freezer burn. Honestly, I had difficulty eating the muffins because of this unwelcome extra flavor, but my mom couldn't notice it at all and enjoyed them.

Bottom line? This was a decent recipe. I wasn't too thrilled with my results, but the nasty freezer taste may have had a little tiny something to do with that. Aside from that, I did feel that these muffins were quite dense; maybe if some regular white flour were used in place of some of the whole wheat they'd be a bit lighter. I'd also probably double the streusel recipe in future, because it was sort of sparse, and in this particular case the streusel was what saved these Freezer Burn Streusel-y Blueberry Muffins. Ah well - live and learn!

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