I am in Chicago visiting my brother. I come into the kitchen, hungry and ready for breakfast.

She brings out two bags from the freezer, filled with muffins. I put one of them in the microwave and with my first bite the muffin melts on my taste buds sending them into ecstasy.

Shireen warms the blueberry muffins from the second bag and soon after observing her expression and her oooooos and ahhhhhhs everyone goes for the blueberry muffins…mouth watering delicious, and made from a scratch.

So after returning home I asked her for the recipe, and here it is with a delightful commentary…


1-2/3 c 3-1/3 c 5c Flour
1/2 c 1 c 1-1/2 c Sugar
2 tsp 4 tsp 6 tsp Baking powder
¼ tsp ½ tsp ¾ tsp Salt
1/8 tsp ¼ tsp 1/3 tsp Nutmeg, cinnamon OR cardamom
1/3 c 2/3 c 1 c Butter
¾ c 1-1/2 c 2-1/4 c Milk
1 2 3 egg
Blueberries (fresh or frozen), nuts or jam

First column makes 1 dozen,  2nd two dozen, 3rd 3 dozen.  They freeze well.

The original recipe says to preheat (and use) 400 degree oven.  I don’t know if it’s my ovens or this is too much, but I’ve been using this recipe for 30 years (before getting married) and the muffins seem to burn at 400…so I feel 375 is the best temperature.

In as big a mixing bowl as you’ll need to hold everything, combine:

Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spice of your choice.

Rub in butter until mixture looks like large coarse crumbs.

If you’re using blueberries mix them in now.  I never measure the blueberries, but usually do a couple of overflowing hands ful for the single dozen, 4 or so for the 2 dozen and maybe 5-6 for the big batch.  Most often I would say it’s limited by how many berries I actually have….. It’s good if they are generous, but too many will mean you have to fuss with the baking time.  (Those on the periphery of the muffins will burn before the batter is cooked if you put too many.)

It’s good if you remember to put them at this point because they seem to distribute better through the batter, rather than waiting until you’ve added the liquids.  If they’re frozen this seems to be particularly true.

In a measuring cup large enough to hold milk and eggs, measure milk and add eggs, mixing until blended.  (Using a big cup saves about 10 seconds at this stage!!)

Make a depression in your flour and dump in the milk and eggs.  Mix with fork just until blended.  Because it’s a baking powder mixture if you mix too much the muffins will be tough.  For the small batch about 50 turns is usually enough.

OK, if you’re doing blueberries, put the batter in the pan(s)—cups will be about ½-2/3 full.

If you’re doing jam  (apricot is great—that’s the original recipe),  put a spoonful of jam onto the top of each muffin (push it down a little).  I use a heaping eating spoon—I would guess it comes out to about a tablespoon).  You can use any jam—for Ammi and L I’ve put marmalade.  The muffins themselves are quite sweet, so I think the darker ones are slightly nicer.

Nuts can go in the batter or on top—I’ve done both.  If you’re putting them IN, add before the wet ingredients.  Again, I don’t measure these, just put an amount that looks reasonable.  If you’re putting them on top either push them in a little or make them really small or they roll off as the muffins bake. (and then you can have “toasted nuts” that you scrape up off the bottom of your oven that seem to gross to eat…………)

Bake somewhere around 20 minutes.  Generally I start checking at about 17.  The jam also tends to burn if it gets on the muffin tin itself.  They’ll take a bit longer if the blueberries  were frozen.  And in my ovens it makes a difference how many pans I have in there—more takes longer—so frozen blueberries and 3 tins can be 25 or more min.  One of the muffins in the middle of the tin should spring back when you put a little pressure on it.

Some bakers will tell you to rotate the tins at the halfway point.  The muffins will be more evenly cooked if you can remember to do this (but I hardly ever remember.  Of course if you set your timer for the halfway point it helps………….)

You can use peaches, cut up real small, I’ve used strawberries for Niaz, but I didn’t think they were that great.  Sometimes I’ve used a handful of chocolate chips.  They taste good, but are really sweet then….  Basically, you can put in whatever suits your fancy!

I’ve made a really simple recipe into a BOOK!!


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