Monday, April 11, 2016

The Best Strawberry Yogurt Muffins {Plus BIG News!}

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First of all, I made you muffins. It's pretty much the best muffin recipe ever. They're moist, fluffy, pillowy, and basically out of this world. If that's not good enough news already, I have some even better news.

I have a bun in the oven! No, not the bread kind of bun. Well, actually I happen to have one of those in the oven too at this moment coincidentally (a loaf of sourdough to be exact). But I'm talking about the kind of bun that is actually a BABY.  

Yep. That's right. This October, a new attraction is coming to Berlin, and Samuel and I couldn't be more excited. The baby is healthy and happy (judging by his/her dancing during the ultrasound) and so am I.  I am now 14 weeks along, which means I've finally left the nausea of the first trimester in the dust and I'm actually feeling pretty darn good and ready to post lots of recipes for you. Hopefully this blog won't get too strange in the next six months, considering that my current idea of a good post is a plate of watermelon and guacamole with a side of pickles and a milkshake. Hopefully I can get these cravings under control. Har har har.

 Samuel has been very helpful, from running to to the store to pick up emergency ice cream and mayo for me (which is saying a lot as he is absolutely against the existence of mayonnaise), to doing dishes and tidying up, to making his own bread. In fact the loaf of bread I currently have in the oven is actually his creation, which I just threw in the oven since he had to go to school.  [Later: here is a picture of the finished product.]

He's becoming quite the artisan bread baker, which will definitely come in handy when we start our cafe bakery as soon as we move back to the US. Judging by how amazing this bread is smelling, it's going to be a success. We are really determined to do it and our plans are getting more and more solid, so get ready for something awesome coming your way, you Americans.

Now I will say a few more words about these muffins. First off, we made an amazing discovery the other day. We were going to make bagels, so we decided to try to get some bread flour. Since we live in Germany, we decided we should probably first research what bread flour is called in this country. We ended up finding a list of all the German flours and what they are compared to American flours. The German flours are all called by numbers. Type 405 is pastry flour, type 550 is all-purpose, and 1050 is the bread flour. 

Wait, 405... is.... pastry... flour??? I threw open the cupboard and horror music started playing as my vision zoomed up to the ten bags of 405 in the cupboard. 

This explains why our bread has not been turning out right ever since we moved to Germany. It also explains why these muffins were a little bit flat. It pretty much explains all of our woes and troubles since we moved to Berlin. 

Well, it was a relief to get that figured out. 

Anyway, these muffins are awesome. They are pretty much the same recipe as this blueberry muffin recipe, which my sister and I perfected over weeks during The Great Muffin Experiment of 2015. They're one of my most popular posts here, so you know I'm not lying when I say they're the best. Samuel kept asking me what the secret ingredient was as he devoured half of them in one sitting.  The only secret ingredient I can think of is the blood, sweat, and tears that were shed during those weeks last year when we created the recipe. Enjoy.

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    • The Best Strawberry Yogurt Muffins
    • Makes 8 muffins (or 12 smaller muffins)
    • 2/3 cup white sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used unsweetened, but any will work!)
    • 1 cup strawberries, chopped about the size of blueberries (you can use frozen if you must)
    • About 1 tablespoon white sugar for the top (optional)
    • Preheat oven to 375ºF. You may want to lightly grease your muffin tin so that the crown of the muffin doesn't stick to the pan (I didn't though). Place eight muffin liners in the pan.
    • Combine the sugar, egg, oil, milk, and vanilla in a bowl and stir until well combined.
    • Add the flour, baking powder and salt. I stir the baking powder and salt into the flour right on top of the wet ingredients so I don't have to get out another bowl. Once the baking powder and salt are pretty well distributed in the flour, stir them into the wet ingredients until combined. Don't overmix. Just stir until it's no longer lumpy.
    • Stir in the yogurt just until well distributed. Fold in the chopped strawberries (I left about half for the top so some would be visible on the crown of the muffin).
    • Evenly distribute the batter in the muffin tin. If you are making 8 high crowned muffins, you will be filling them all the way to the top. If you want to make shorter muffins you could probably fill 12. If you saved some berries for the top, sprinkle them on and press them in lightly. Sprinkle the tops with the 1 tablespoon of sugar if you want.
    • Bake muffins for about 25 minutes. If you're using frozen berries it will take about 5 minutes longer. Also depending on how many muffins you decided to make, it will also take a shorter time. Just make sure you get them out as soon as a toothpick comes out clean.
    • You can also make maybe 3 or 4 giant muffins in a jumbo muffin tin. If you do, bake them at 350ºF for maybe about 40 minutes.
    • I like to put them in a sealed container while they're still warm so the stay really moist. That's assuming they aren't eaten right out of the pan though.

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