Because I love to cook for people. And sadly I don't get to cook for very many people apart from Eugene (lucky Eugene). This might sound a little bit lame, but the truth is that I don't have very many friends who live in the city, and not a single one nearby. (I do have quite a few friends who live in other cities. And states. And countries.)
I often think that it would be awesome to have a nearby friend. You know, someone within walking distance, or maybe just a train stop away, that I could grab a spontaneous cocktail with or invite over to help me finish a batch of muffins.
(Hmm..I swear I also ate non-Mexican food while I was in DC.)
There was even one night when the friend downstairs showed up at my door at 2am; she'd had a terrible nightmare and asked if she could stay with me. So we piled into my bed and spent the rest of the evening giggling like schoolgirls.
Eugene and I recently started watching Friday Night Lights. [I know we're way late to the party with this, but man! What an awesome show!] Anyway, one thing that I notice about that show is how often people drop by each other's houses. It's almost like phones don't exist in Dillon, Texas! Now I fully admit that I would be horrified if friends were to just show up at my house all the time with information they could have just as easily sent in a text, but I do appreciate the spontaneity.
These days, most of my (non-Eugene) outings are planned way in advance. I actually have dinner reservations for mid-May with a friend that I haven't seen since my birthday in February. These reservations were made in Mid-April. And he only lives about 15 minutes away on the subway. That's a little bit ridiculous, right?
The muffins were a major hit. I made a dozen and somehow by the time the ladies left, there was only one muffin remaining. And I'm not eating carbs right now, so I had nothing to do with it.
This recipe is a bit of a mishmash inspired by and adapted from two Dorie Greenspan recipes from her Baking book--the allspice crumb muffin recipe (from which I got the idea to use allspice) and her great grains muffin recipe (which I used as a base). But I took some things out and added other things, most notably, blueberries.
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Multi-Grain Blueberry Spice Muffins
Makes 1 dozen muffins. Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Great Grains Muffins recipe from the book Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or use all-purpose flour; I don't recommend regular whole wheat flour)
1/3 cup cornmeal (I used blue--use whatever you have)
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 rounded teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted and cooled unsalted butter
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen--don't thaw)
Raw turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin pan with paper muffin cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, oats, sesame seeds, pepitas, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and allspice until evenly distributed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, maple syrup, eggs, and melted butter. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring in gently until combined (don't worry if there are a few lumps--that's good!). Use a rubber spatula to delicately fold in the blueberries.
Divide batter between the 12 muffin cups and sprinkle the top generously with with raw sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden and a tester inserted in the center of the largest muffin comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Best served within 24 hours (though leftovers do freeze well).