Tag Archives: Martha Stewart baking

one strawberry and one blueberry muffin

Red (White) and Blue Muffins ~ Happy 4th of July!

Phew it’s been a while since I’ve whipped up any Martha Stewart treats in the kitchen, but last week I was inspired by the start of berry season, so I turned my Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook open to blueberry muffins.

Have I mentioned that I’ve been working in a bakery for the past 5 months? Mostly helping customers up front, but it’s afforded me the opportunity to sample some delicious cookies, quick breads, brioche and blueberry muffins.

At the bakery, our muffins typically turn out huge with tops that far exceed the size of the rest of the muffin. And that’s pretty much everyone’s favorite part anyway right, so what’s not to love? (My mind is jumping to Seinfeld: “It’s not, ‘Top of the Muffin TO YOU!'” with flamboyant Elaine hand gestures and then later, “I gotta haul some stumps”…such a hilarious episode.)


In pursuit of using up some strawberries from the fridge, I decided to make a batch of mini blueberry muffins and a batch of mini strawberry muffins. PS I only own a mini muffin tin. New York apartment and all that. PPS I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a strawberry muffin before. Have you? I was really quite excited at the prospect!

I’ve never really made muffins before, but I’m not sure why not since it only calls for very standard ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, milk, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and eggs. I think I’ve always been scared that my muffins will stick to the tin and I’ve been too lazy to purchase those little paper cups, which also seem sort of a waste to the environment.

So with this, I made to sure to super duper butter the muffin tin, not only in the wells but all along the ridges too because I knew I wanted to try to “overstuff” them to create the large muffin tops. Then I dusted the whole tin with flour and scooped in heaping spoonfuls of batter – first up was blueberry.

Since I was using a mini tin, I thought the cook time should be decreased but I wasn’t sure by how much. So I started with 15 minutes, they were clearly not done, so I turned the tray and put them back in for another 10.

They seemed to be slightly browned on top, so I pulled them out of the oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes and then flipped them over and banged the tray a few times (a new trick I learned at work) so that the muffins slide right out. I only had to manually pull a few out and they ended up breaking, mostly because the berries were at the bottom of the well and had melted and stuck to the pan.

blueberry mini muffins
blueberry mini muffins

I rebuttered, refloured and did the same with the strawberry batter, although I had even more batter to use, so I cooked for 27 minutes instead of 25.

folding strawberries into muffin batter
folding strawberries into the batter

The strawberry muffin tops were much wider than the blueberry ones and they had kind of baked into one another so the flip and tap method didn’t work and I had to use a little knife to help pop the muffins out, but none of them broke.

the bottoms of baked strawberry muffins
the bottoms of baked strawberry muffins

Some tips:

  1. Toss the fruit with flour before folding it into the batter to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the tin.
  2. Sprinkle sugar on top of the raw muffins before baking for an extra sweet crunch. I did this on the strawberries but not on the blueberries.

    raw strawberry muffins ready for baking
    raw strawberry muffins ready for baking
  3. Bake the muffin tin on top of a cookie sheet (especially with a mini muffin tin) so that you have a wider tray to handle. It’s hard to grasp narrow edges of a muffin tin with oven mitts on.

These muffins were quite addicting and I ate at least 4 warm ones straight away. The blueberry ones were tart (small blueberries) and the strawberry ones were pretty sweet. I LOVED the way the strawberry ones smelled in the oven – like strawberry shortcake – and just like summer.

one strawberry and one blueberry muffin
one strawberry and one blueberry muffin

How perfect for July 4th to have some summer berry muffins that are red and blue and white (the muffin part?) – yum!

About Me & Martha

Yes, this idea is pretty much my version of the girl that cooked her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blogged about it.

In moving again to another new city I’m excited at all the possibilities, but also kind of unsure of the next steps here. I often feel like a jack of all trades, master of none. Which, if I’m being honest, I thoroughly enjoy because there are so many avenues that I want to explore. But which isn’t great for settling into and moving up in a career path. So here’s my plan to bring some structure to my weeks and learn something new at the same time!

I’m baking my way through Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook and will write about my experiences with the recipes as I go. Why?

  1. Over my time spent in Michigan, I’ve come to love baking. I’m using my mind but also my hands to create something (and it’s great that the oven helps heat a cold apartment). That feels very fulfilling in the way that creating a painting or drawing does (some other things I love to do).
  2. I love learning. And in particular about food. And what better way to learn than to do! And hopefully by the end of the journey, I’ll be able to look back and see some improvement in my baking skills (and hopefully in my photography too).
  3. I crave routine. Whatever it may entail, I enjoy writing out a schedule for my day and having those days look pretty similar. Baking and writing will give some structure and allow me to work on both of those skill sets. It’s lovely to wake up on a chilly morning and bake in PJs while watching Netflix.
  4. I admire Martha Stewart (okay, it would be amazing to build a brand like she has). She’s strong and private, while being intensely successful. She feels “real” (I mean she went to jail – that’s pretty real). She’s got that formal New England demeanor with a tinge of New York grit which reminds me of both sides of my family. Additionally, I get a kick out of the fact that my mom claims to have been a year behind her at Skidmore College – it’s like two degrees of separation! [Side note: It turns out that it must be a different Martha Stewart because the famous one is at least five years older than my mom and went to Barnard. So nevermind.]

I hope you enjoy my journey through this book and that you learn a few things about me and baking and yourself along the way!