I’ve gone through almost every breakfast recipe I’ve collected in my 13 years of motherhood while my dad has stayed with me for a month here in California. Before 13 years ago, I never ate breakfast. Well, let me rephrase that. I never cooked breakfast.
But becoming a mother has turned me into a breakfast cooker. The thing about babies are that they aren’t really good at conforming to adult schedules and mornings are sped up exponentially, which means there is no leisurely drive to your favorite breakfast place. You need to become really adept with your frying pan and suddenly you become an expert egg eater because they are super quick to cook.
Then your babies grow up, but their soccer and baseball games prohibit you again to saunter over to your favorite breakfast place because they need to be at warm-up at some ungodly hour. So you learn to freeze plastic wrapped fresh bagels, which can defrost on the counter while you get your coffee on, and then toasted—and believe me, they taste as fresh as the day you brought them home from the bakery.(BTW, the local bagel shop in Belmont is producing some decent bagels, although a tad smaller than what I’m used to eating. But my waistline is thankful. Also, they are the nicest store owners, allowing my forgetful wallet-less husband to bring a bag home with a promise to pay later.)
When you reach an age when your elderly parent decides to “semi-move-in,” then you’re faced with another round of early rising. My dad wakes up at dawn, with a monumental appetite and blasts the TV to get the family up.
In my desperate attempt to ease up on my breakfast-making routine, I’ve been baking muffins the night before, and leaving them on the counter for Dad to munch on in the morning. Really, I wanted to start this post talking about the moist blueberry muffins topped with sugary crispy candied ginger that gives a hint of spice that is unexpected; Besides the health benefits described in SFGate, the lacy ginger crackle on top of the muffin is a nice foil to the sweet blueberries. But instead, I ranted a smidge about my recent morning rituals.
Why the ginger crackle besides it being yummy, warm, pretty, healthy and Asian-inspired? It’s a twist on something routine, and right now, very befitting to what has become my ordinary.
- (Adapted from bakery-style blueberry muffins from mixedupkitchen.com)
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup of low-fat or whole milk (room temp.)
- 2 large eggs (room temp.)
- 1/2 c melted butter
- ginger-crackle topping:
- 1/3 cup coarse sugar like organic cane sugar (sold at Whole Foods)
- 1/3 cup sweetened uncrystallized ginger (sold at Whole Foods)
- 1 tbs cold butter cut in small cubes
- 1 tbs flour
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
- Drop 10 muffin cups into a muffin pan. Butter the top of the pan so that the muffin tops and crackle don't stick to the pan.
- Melt 1/2 c of butter in a small saucepan.
- Combine melted butter, milk, eggs and 3/4 cup of sugar in a large bowl. If using a mixer, blend together for a minute or until the ingredients are well mixed (use paddle attachment).
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into another bowl.
- Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients in four batches while the mixer is on low speed. Stop as soon as the batter is well incorporated (about 30 sec.). Do not over-mix.
- Fold in 1 cup of blueberries into the batter.
- Pulse the ginger in a small food processor until paste-like. Transfer into a small bowl.
- Add 1/3 c of coarse sugar, cold butter, and 1 tbs of flour to the ginger paste.
- Using your fingers or a fork, combine the crumble ingredients until it resembles wet sand. (Chunks of butter are expected.)
- Fill each muffin cup to the top. Sprinkle a generous amount of crumble on top (about 1 tbs.)
- Place muffin pan on a baking sheet when baking, as crumble may drip during cooking process.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the muffin.
- Let muffins cool for a minute before transferring them to a cooling rack. Gently pry off ginger-crackle from the pan with a paring knife.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container once muffins have fully cooled. Eat within a couple of days.