Muffins are always a great mood lifter and these Mixed Berry Muffins make me so happy. They are scrumptious and make a delicious snack or breakfast. I usually like a streusel or sprinkling of sugar on top but I kept them sweet and simple this time. They also freeze beautifully for those times you need a little pick me up.
Berry Season is still a few months away, so I grabbed a bag of frozen mixed berries from Trader Joe's. It was a blend of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. I have been hesitant to bake with strawberries in the past, but having a few in the mix gave it a wonderful jammy flavor and texture. If you are using frozen berries, there is no need to defrost them just give them a gentle rinse in cold water and drain them well. This will prevent the berries from staining the batter.
One other tip I will give is to start the oven at a high temp and you will get a nice domed crown on your muffins. I couldn't resist breaking out the giant muffin tin this time because one muffin is never enough!
MIXED BERRY MUFFINS
(makes about 2 dozen regular sized muffins or 12 large sized muffins)
4 large eggs, room temp
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups milk, room temp
1/2 cup ricotta, room temp
2 1/2-3 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or blackberries)
Preheat oven to 425F. Spray or line the muffin tins. Sift the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, milk, ricotta, butter, zest and vanilla. Whisk until combined. Add the egg mixture to the dry indredients and stir until a smooth batter is formed. Make sure not to overmix the batter. Gently fold in the berries. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full and bake at 425F for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350F. Bake for another 18-20 minutes for the standard size and 25-30 minutes for the larger size. Give the muffins a turn halfway between the baking time.The muffins will be golden brown and check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center and it should come out clean.
If using frozen berries, rinse and drain them before folding them into the batter.
A 16 oz bag of frozen berries is about 3 cups, I prefer a muffin full of berries so I used the whole bag.
For an added crunch, add a sprinkle of raw or sparkling sugar to the tops before baking.
Instead of ricotta cheese, try using sour cream or whole milk plain yogurt.
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