Blueberry Muffins

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I have two good friends who, unlike myself and another friend, began yet another school year as educators. Actually, they are both school principals.  As a treat, I decided on behalf of myself and the other pseudo retired friend (she’s expecting and I’m…well…not doing anything), to put together a care package to say “Congrats” on finishing their first week back — one usually filled with any number of stresses.  Not their care packages — their first week of school!  Who doesn’t need a little pick-me-up now and again, right?

At first I wanted to bake something and imagined a cute basket filled with warm and fragrant sweetness —  like cookies cut into fall leaf shapes.  I could pipe the frosting, wrap them in tissue,  I’d ring the doorbell and run, leaving the treats for my friends to wonder about.  But my wrist has been acting up, aching and my hand not able to grip anything well, so the cookies would have to wait for another time.  Perhaps by the autumnal equinox I’ll be set.

I did have some blueberries in the freezer, though — huge fat ones I couldn’t get enough of when they were on sale a few weeks ago.  So blueberry muffins it would be.  I quickly discovered that the baskets I had in mind for this surprise were sent off to the Good Will last time I went on a cleaning frenzy.  I knew I’d regret giving those away.  Nevertheless, I’d forge on using gift bags instead, filling them up with a few purchased items as well.  The idea of a bag full of muffins for ladies who are very conscious of their weight and health didn’t seem like the best idea.  Besides, I wanted some of these muffins myself!

This recipe is from the City Tavern Cookbook by Walter Staib.  It contains “200 Years of Classic Recipes from America’s First Gourmet Restaurant” in Philadelphia, PA.  I love the recipes in this book.  I found it several years ago when I chaperoned a group of 120 eighth graders on a tour of the East Coast.  What a riot!  Philadelphia was our last stop, and while there, we were able to eat in the City Tavern, and enjoyed both these blueberry muffins as well as “Thomas Jefferson’s Sweet Potato Biscuits.”  I’ve made Thanksgiving Dinner more than once using the recipes in this book along with a few side dishes for special dinners.  They are all excellent recipes.  And, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys knowing a bit of history, the book includes interesting information about the history of the food and the restaurant.

*Before I get to the recipe, I do have to confess that considering the fact that the recipe is a “blueberry” muffin recipe, somehow, the mention of blueberries in the ingredients list and the directions is mysteriously missing.  At first, I thought I wasn’t reading carefully!  No matter.  How hard is it to add the blueberries?


City Tavern’s Blueberry Muffins

Blueberries are among the only fruits native to North America.  As early as 1616, Samuel de Champlain found the Indians near Lake Huron gathering blueberries for the winter.  “After drying the berries in the sun,” he wrote in his journal, “the Indians beat them into powder and added this powder to parched meal to make a dish called ‘Sautauthig.'”  The settlers incorporated blueberries into desserts and breads to satisfy their renowned sweet tooth.

Makes 24 standard muffins

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Coat twenty-four 1/2-cup muffin cups with vegetable cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium about 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Add the milk and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to the egg mixture and stir just until moistened.
  5. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 20-3- minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Cool on wire rack about 10 minutes.  Remove from muffin cups and serve warm.


These muffins are very easy to make.  You will truly enjoy them as they are fluffy — not heavy as many muffins can be.  Make sure you try one right out of the oven.  We did, and they made quite a nice treat before bed.  Absolutely NO calories!  Right.

And if you’re someone who doesn’t just love blueberries, I used to not quite love them either.  They’re so good for my body however, that I now eat them fresh in my morning Kashi when they’re available — most of the time.



  • I substituted 2% milk because that was what was in the refrigerator
  • I used a large capacity muffin pan with six cups and halved the recipe filling the cups 3/4 full
  • I using a convection setting for 30 minutes.
  • I sprinkled demerara sugar on the muffin tops before baking for a bit of extra crunch.
  • Since blueberries are clearly accidentally omitted from the recipe, I incorporated them still slightly frozen after the batter was mixed.
  • Make sure, as with all muffin recipes, that you only mix the batter until moist.  Over mixing will prevent a good rising.


You can just taste those blueberries, can’t you?  Tart, sweet, moist?  Goodness, but they are scrumptious.