Summer is SO. CLOSE. This is the first summer in a while that I won't be working-- I will actually have the summer off, almost completely (we won't talk about the week that I'll spend in Kentucky scoring AP essays). I am so looking forward to the beach and dollar movies and the library and reading and the zoo...OK, well maybe not the zoo, but an extended time away from school is starting to sound better and better. Since it's the end of the year, we are all starting to go a little crazy-- students AND teachers. It can be hard to make the kiddos work when you don't actually feel like doing anything yourself, so the end of the year is one big long struggle against the temptation to do nothing. Luckily, I'm teaching one of my favorite books-- The Great Gatsby. It's always the last novel I teach, and between that and all the descriptions of summer in the book ("There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whispering and the champagne and the stars..."), I am ready for the end of school.
One of the other things that makes me think of the end of the year is meeting with my department to discuss our plans for next year. We had that meeting today and I brought these muffins, which are really really yummy and really, really pretty. One of the things that makes them so good is that you brown the butter before you mix it in, which gives the muffins a really rich taste. I had a great time planning our next year with my people today-- I am feel so lucky to have such an energetic and excited group of people to work with-- so even though I am ready for the end of school, I am still excited about what we plan to do next year, which makes the summer even sweeter.
(From Joy the Baker)
Makes 12-15 muffins
For the Muffins:
7 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups blueberries
For the Topping:
3 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 Tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line at least one muffin pan with liners.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Don't leave it unattended-- it will start to foam and crackle, then small brown flecks will appear in the butter. Once the flecks appear, the butter will cook down a little and turn a gold-ish brown color. Once it reaches that color, remove it from the heat.
Combine milk, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla-- whisk until combined. (If you have a large liquid measuring cup, it's a good idea to whisk these ingredients in that.) Add the browned butter to this and mix until combined. (NOTE: These ingredients don't really "combine"-- the butter will probably sit on top of the rest. Just give it a good stir before you add this to the dry ingredients.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour in the butter/milk mixture and stir to combine. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Topping: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and use your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter to combine until crumbly.
Fill each liner about 2/3 full, then sprinkle generously with topping. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.