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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Best of 2011: Blueberry Polenta Muffin Tops

What happens when you find a recipe for muffin tops but don't have a muffin top pan? You use a DONUT pan instead! I wasn't really sure if this method would work, but I ended up with perfectly cooked muffin top donuts. Sadly, this was my first time breaking out my donut pan (must change that ASAP!), despite buying it over a month ago.

These were one of my recipe selections for this month's Best of 2011 Challenge. Once again, I selected one of the twelve foods from The Twelve Best Foods Cookbook. The ingredient of choice this time? Blueberries! According to the cookbook,

  •  Have the most health-protecting antioxidants of all fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Are a good source of Vitamins A, C, E, Potassium, several Phytonutrients , and Fiber
  • Are best (in terms of retaining nutrients) the least that they're cooked
You don't have to convince Ryan or I twice--we both love all berries, blueberries included. I'm perfectly content to eat them by the handful, but we've also enjoyed them in muffins, danish cakedessert bars, and even as a waffle topper! These blueberry polenta muffin top (donuts) are now a new favorite. I knew they'd passed Ryan's litmus test when he asked me if there were any more than what was sitting out. It took us less than 24 hours to finish off the batch of six. The little cakes had a tight crumb and the flavor was reminiscent of a sweetened corn bread, with bursting pockets of blueberries. 

No muffin top pan or donut pan? No worries...I'm pretty sure you could fill a regular or mini-muffin tin (greased) with the batter and still have success. Let me know if you try!

One Year Ago: Minty Cabbage Salad

Blueberry Polenta Muffin Tops
from The Twelve Best Foods Cookbook

-1 large egg
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/3 cup orange juice
-1/2 tsp grated orange zest
-1/4 cup canola oil
-1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta (I just used cornmeal)
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/8 tsp salt
-1 1/4 cups blueberries

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350F.  Coat a muffin top pan (or donut pan) with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat egg and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and pale (2 minutes). Mix in the juice, zest, and oil. Stir in the flour, polenta, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the blueberries.
3. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 2 minutes before removing muffin tops and cooling completely on a wire rack.