The Queen of All Muffins

I bought a lot of cookbooks during 2010 and the one I love the most is the one with no glossy papers and no pictures. The leather-bound The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser is ultimately my most favorite book as for today and many days to come. I could not imagine the work and effort she has put into the book to compile and personally tested all those recipes. I can totally relate to her work, as I myself am a recipe freak. I follow through recipes like I would have if I am a wizard trying to concoct potion (I was going to go with chemist, but I wasn’t exactly sure what chemist does). The recipes are very clearly worded and personal notes are a pleasure to read at the end of each recipe. Amanda Hesser has made truly American recipes, time-tested and proofed, available to the rest of the world and for foodie freaks like me, who hunt for old recipes that really worked, to find our cooking bible.

The first recipe that I tried, and subsequently repeated four times in the period of five days is Jordan Marsh’s Blueberry Muffins Recipe. Besides blueberry, I have substituted the filling with bananas, stewed apples, nuts, cinnamon, chocolate chip and chocolate chunks – but not necessarily in that order. I don’t think my family can handle another muffin for the rest of the year.

The blueberry muffin recipe is simple enough to whip up in less than an hour, including baking. With minimal effort, beautiful little cakes are ready. The muffins rise beautifully. The texture is as light as air, in contrast with other muffin recipes that come up with dense and heavy muffins. Those made me want to hold a big glass of water just by staring at them. Okay, I am biased. It is very hard not to be.

Combine butter and sugar in a bowl. Don’t do as I did. Do try to cut butter into smaller cubes. I spent good minutes cleaning up the kitchen counter from splattering sugar. If you use finer granulated sugar, you will spend less time creaming them.

Keep on beating on high speed and get those sugar bits merging well with the butter.

After 15 minutes and I gave up. The sugar bits were still showing. I can live with that.

Add one egg at a time and beating over medium speed, mixing well each time.

Fold shifted flour, salt and baking powder alternately with milk. Try not working on the batter too much or the gluten will form an alliance with each other and you will end up with tough muffins.

Mix in all the blueberries, smashed and whole.

Divide batter into heavily buttered muffin pans

Sprinkle some sugar on top for that crunchy bites.

Bake for 30 minutes or less, with preheated oven at 190 degree celsius.

The queen of all muffins!


Jordan Marsh's Blueberry Muffins

Source : The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser

Makes 12 muffins


2 cups all purpose flour (280 g)
1/2 tsp salt (3 g)
2 tsp baking powder (8 g)
8 tbsp unsalted butter (120 g), soften
1-1/4 cups plus 1 tbsp sugar (280 g plus 1 tbsp)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk (125 g)
2 cups blueberries, rinsed and picked over (250 g)


Heat oven to 190 degree celsius. Grease muffin cups. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
Cream the butter and 1-1/4 cups sugar in a large bowl, until light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add to the flour mixture alternately with milk, beating just until smooth.
Crush 1/2 cup blueberries with a fork, and mix into the batter. Fold in the remaining whole berries
Fill the muffin cups with batter. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar over the tops of muffins. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan.
Store, uncovered, or the muffins will be too moist the second day.

I did adjust the amount of sugar called for, I used only 1 cup, instead of 1-1/4 cups listed in the recipe. The sweetness of the muffins is great for me that way with less sugar. When I used less than 2 cups of blueberries (or any chopped fruit), the muffins came up to be rather flat. The batter really needs good solid foundation for it to be able to rise above the cups. So, be generous and you will not regret it.

Food52 – Amanda Hesser’s Blog

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30 Responses to “The Queen of All Muffins”

  1. 1

    Pepy @Indonesia Eats — December 21, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

    My fave muffin is the one either with saskatoon berry or blueberry. Yummmm

    • Jun replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:28 am

      I have never had saskatoon berry! I have to look for them.

  2. 2

    Jennifer (Delicieux) — December 21, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

    Mmmm these muffins look delicious. I love blueberry muffins.

    I’ve bought a lot of cookbooks this year too, some wonderful and others not so much. I have heard good things about the New York Times Cookbook. I will have to check it out :D

    • Jun replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:29 am

      You should get it. It is really amazing. I literally can’t put it down. And a picture-less cookbook is a plus so that it would push my imagination to work much harder :)

  3. 3

    Trissa — December 21, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

    I promised myself not to buy anymore cookbooks but these muffins sure look like they are fit for royalty. I may have to make an exception for this book!

    • Jun replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:29 am

      Please do get this one! You won’t regret it :P

  4. 4

    Ecky — December 21, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

    Oh look at those muffins, I want to make it but I can not find fresh blueberries here :(

    • Jun replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:30 am

      I think it will work for both frozen or canned blueberries, Ecky. Good luck trying!

  5. 5

    Laura Flowers — December 22, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    Glorious giant muffins come to me! Oh wait, sigh… I’ll have to bake my own huh?

    I can’t wait to make these beautiful muffins. I hope they turn out as pretty as yours.


    • Jun replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:30 am

      I am sure they will turn out beautifully! Thank you for visiting, Laura

  6. 6

    redmenace — December 22, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

    I’m always in the market for the perfect blueberry muffin. And, of course, a new cookbook…. Thank you!

    • Jun replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:30 am

      Thank you for visiting!

  7. 7

    Indochine Kitchen » The Queen of All Muffins » Indulgent Dessert Recipes — December 23, 2010 @ 8:36 am

    [...] more here: Indochine Kitchen » The Queen of All Muffins Related Posts:Blueberry Muffin Recipe: Sandra Lee — Lady and the Blog I woke up over the weekend [...]

  8. 8

    maameemoomoo — December 23, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

    I can never resist this!!!

    I love blueberry muffins to bits! So so good.. Yours look awesome!

    • Jun replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:31 am

      Frankly I have never liked muffins until I tried baking my own. They were always so crumbly.

  9. 9

    Sukaina — December 24, 2010 @ 12:24 am

    These indeed look very light and airy. I laways eat blueberry muffins at cafes but have never baked any myself so i cant wait to try this. will let u know the results!

    • Jun replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:32 am

      I hope you get to bake these beautiful muffins! And you will not be happy with cafe-baked. :)

  10. 10

    noobcook — December 24, 2010 @ 9:33 am

    these muffins are gorgeous! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    • Jun replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:32 am

      Happy holidays, Wiffy!

  11. 11

    tasteofbeirut — December 26, 2010 @ 11:05 pm

    wow! This is the most appetizing and glamorous muffin I have seen in a while! these berries look huge and juicy! can’t wait to make me some, my daughter will devour them too.

    • Jun replied: — January 14th, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

      They are really really delicious! I am crediting this to Jordan Marsh! :)

  12. 12

    Borislava — December 30, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

    These muffins really look noble and extremely photogenic! I’ll definitely try them soon. Thanks, Jun!

    • Jun replied: — January 14th, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

      You have to try this!

  13. 13

    Dinewithleny — December 30, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

    This muffin looks like the perfect muffin with crunchy top bits. I must try this recipe. thanks for sharing. Love your blog too. Happy New Year

    • Jun replied: — January 14th, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

      I hope you had a great new year!

  14. 14

    Cara — March 1, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    I’ve made these muffins three times and although they have the best flavor EVER! they don’t rise. I wonder if the baking powder should be tablespoons instead of teaspoons?

    • Jun replied: — May 10th, 2012 @ 7:13 am

      The baking powder called for is about 2 teaspoons. Maybe you can check if your baking powder is double acting and it is still good to be used? It is just an idea. Or maybe you could crank up the oven a little bit more during first half of cooking time to help them rise. :)

  15. 15

    Cara — March 1, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    p.s. I saw your recipe on pinterest.

  16. 16

    Nat — May 6, 2012 @ 2:04 am

    Nice recipe :) I love blueberry muffins… Such a great snack.
    Here’s another recipe you might like.
    Thanks for sharing.

  17. 17

    Kalani — September 12, 2013 @ 4:18 am

    I made these last night and they were good. It was more like a cake-like muffin, and had a nice rounded top. The flavor wasn’t too sweet. I forgot to top the muffins with the sugar, but it was very good anyway.

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