Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Crumb:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Using a fork, mix all ingredients together until well combined. Set aside.

Muffins:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 to 1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 400°. For crisper edges, grease a standard muffin pan. For softer edges, use liners in each cup instead.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in buttermilk. Add both sugars and mix until combined. Stir in vanilla and lemon zest. Stir in melted butter. Add flour mixture in two to three portions. Mix until there are still streaks of flour remaining. Stir in blueberries, mixing just until combined.

Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into each cup of prepared pan. This should fill each cup almost to the top. Sprinkle tops of each muffin with crumb mixture.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool in pan on wire rack. Enjoy!

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Cake:
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh blueberries

For the glaze:
4 tbsp. butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. milk

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 10-inch bundt pan (with a removable bottom) with baking spray.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until well incorporated. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat until fluffy. Then add the sour cream and beat until the batter is smooth and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, and then add the dry ingredients to the batter and partially mix together. Add the buttermilk and beat until you have a smooth batter.

Remove the mixing bowl of batter from the mixer, and, using a spatula, gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake at 350F for 55 minutes, or until a skewer just comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before turning over onto a cake plate. While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze.

In a small pan, melt the butter and continue to cook on low heat until the butter has turned a dark golden brown color. When it reaches this color, (but before it burns!), set aside. In a small bowl add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and then whisk in the brown butter. Thin out the glaze with the milk, and whisk until the glaze is smooth and runny.

When you have turned the cake out onto a cake plate, drizzle the glaze over the top. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

You’ll need:
For the streusel topping:
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp. butter

For the cake:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

To make the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine almonds, brown sugar and 3 tablespoons butter. Using your fingers, work the butter into the sugar and almonds until blended.

To make the cake: Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the 5 tablespoons of butter. Using either your fingers, a pastry blender or two knives, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Don’t allow the butter to melt or form a blended paste with the flour.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and almond extract. Pour over the flour mixture, and stir until just barely combined. Add the frozen berries, and fold in until just mixed through.

Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan. Top with the streusel topping, distributing evenly. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for ten minutes.

Lemon-Drenched Lemon Cake

Makes 2 loaves

For the cake:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
2? cups sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup heavy cream
Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
1 stick, plus 7 tbsp unsalted butter (15 tbsp total), melted and cooled

For the syrup:
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of two lemons

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Butter two 9×5-inch loaf pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Put the sugar and the lemon zest in a large bowl. Working with your fingers, rub them together until the sugar is moist, flecked with zest, and smells wonderfully lemony.

Add the eggs and whisk them into the sugar, beating until they are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then whisk in the cream. Use a large rubber spatula to gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions until combined. Pour the batter into the pans, smoothing with a rubber spatula. (Now’s the time to lick the bowl:)

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. After about 30 minutes in the oven, check the cakes for color. If they seem to be browning too quickly, cover them lightly with foil tents.

Once the cake is in the oven, make the syrup: Stir the water and sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and set it aside to cool.

When the cakes test done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for five minutes before removing them from their pans and turning them right side up on the rack. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper and, using a thin skewer or cake tester, poke holes all over the cakes. Brush the cakes all over with the syrup, working slowly so that the cakes sop it up. Be sure to use all the syrup—it will seem like a lot but it’s worth it! Leave the cakes on the rack to cool to room temperature.

Almond Poppy Seed Bread with Lemon Glaze

Makes 2 small loaves

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest

For the lemon glaze:
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 7-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds. Stir on low, until just combined.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients—milk, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer on low speed, beat until incorporated. Then, raise the mixer speed to medium and beat for one more minute.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

While the bread is baking, prepare the glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients and whisk until incorporated. When the baked loaves are removed from the oven, immediately brush the glaze over the warm bread tops. It will seem like a lot of glaze, but it will soak in and make the bread ultra-moist and flavorful, with a bit of a sugary crust once cooled.

Cool loaves about 20 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges of the pans before removing bread from pans.

Masala Chai

2 cups water
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. demerara sugar, to taste
2 tbsp. loose black tea, preferably a malty Assam

In a small saucepan, bring water, ginger, pepper, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon to a boil. Add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil once again.

Remove pan from heat and add the loose black tea. Cover and let steep for at least 3 minutes (or longer, if you prefer a stronger brew). Strain the mixture into a warmed teapot or directly into teacups—or stainless steel tumblers, as the tea is traditionally served.