Brian and I have been working with Kelsey Banfield, otherwise known as the Naptime Chef, for a couple of years over on Babble.com’s Family Kitchen. Blogging alongside her, we’ve come to love her simple and classic recipes, many of which we regularly make here in our kitchen. Now I’m thrilled to say that she’s just come out with her very own cookbook.
Running Press was kind enough to send us a copy* of Kelsey’s book, The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life, last week and I’ve already made a couple recipes from the book. Kelsey’s take on food is classic and straightforward, with clean flavors and elegant instructions. The cookbook is comprehensive and well-illustrated, offering recipes that range from breakfast to practical sides, to not-so-practical desserts. As a seasoned home cook I’m loving it, but it would also make an excellent gift for the novice cook (especially one who’s juggling family life).
Though we devoured her delicious baked cheese dip recipe, I’m a longtime blueberry muffin-lover, and that’s the recipe I wanted to share with you today. What makes for a perfect blueberry muffin? Start with the basics: it has to have plenty of blueberries. Once that’s achieved, you want a tender crumb that’s neither dry nor gooey. It should be light, and have a hint of lemon and butter. It was with these admittedly high standards in mind that I dove into the Naptime Chef’s blueberry muffin recipe.
Though Kelsey’s recipe plays on traditional flavors like blueberries and lemon, it has a unique approach that’s almost like making a biscuit. The results have been incredible — piled with blueberries, the muffins are light-as-air and very buttery. All in all, a very good way to start my Monday. And the bonus? I actually made these during my baby’s morning nap (could Kelsey’s cookbook also have magical nap-inducing powers?).
To get your own copy of this great cookbook, or just to learn more, head over to the NaptimeChef.com. For another wonderful Naptime recipe, head over to One Hungry Mama and sink your teeth into Kelsey’s recipe for chocolate zucchini loaf.
Old Fashioned Blueberry Muffins (reprinted with permission from The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life by Kelsey Banfield)
makes 14 – 15 muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
zest from 1 lemon
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
1 large egg
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 12-cup muffin pan or line the cups with paper liners and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and zest. Cut the butter into small cubes and pinch it into the dry ingredients with your hands or with a pastry cutter. This takes a few minutes to do. The batter will look like a bowl of small buttery pebbles once the butter and dry ingredients have been properly incorporated.
In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the egg and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined. The mixture will look a little lumpy and gluey.
Carefully stir the blueberries into the batter with a rubber spatula so as not to crush them, until just combined. Spoon the batter into each muffin cup until it is three-quarters full.
Bake the muffins for 15 – 17 minutes, or until the tops are golden and spring back when touched, rotating the pan halfway through baking.