I love how food can bring you back to special time in life. This recipe reminds me of my dear Mom – my role model and our family rock. She unexpectedly passed away in April 2009 from a verry aggressive form of Stage 4B non-smoker lung cancer, just three months after our daughter was born and one month after our son turned 2. But the recent memories that I most cherish about my Mom were the precious times that she spent caring for our son Gage during his first few years, while I was at work. My Mom had her full-time job as an ICU Nurse, but on her off-days, she would babysit Gage. He called her “Lola”, meaning “Grandmother” in the Filipino language. They would simply hang out at the house, read books together, watch cartoons, draw/color together, and he would help my Mom water the plants in their backyard. Also, my Mom would often bake muffins for him, including banana chocolate chip muffins and blueberry muffins, both made with applesauce. Last Winter, I was going through my Mom’s recipe collection, and came across the original Blueberry Muffin recipe that she made for Gage. What confirmed that it was the same recipe was his scribbling all over the recipe paper! I envisioned what probably happened in her kitchen while she was babysitting Gage – he sitting in his high chair scribbling on her recipe papers, while my Mom entertained him and whipped together these muffins, all at the same time! I now have one of numerous wonderful memories left behind of my Mom to carry on with my own kids. I continue to share stories of times spent with her, including how much she loved baking for him and his cousin Phoenix when they were both little toddlers. Now, my own children easily get going in the early morning, knowing that they get to have these yummy muffins for their breakfast!
BLUEBERRY MUFFINS WITH STREUSSEL TOPPING RECIPE
Servings: 12 regular-sized muffins (or 24 mini-sized muffins)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
STREUSEL TOPPING INGREDIENTS (Optional):
½ cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place applesauce into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups. Sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
TO MAKE STREUSEL TOPPING (Optional): Slightly melt the cubed butter in the microwave for 15-20 sec. Mix together ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, ¼ cup cubed unsalted butter, and 1½ teaspoons cinnamon. You can cut throught the small cubes of butter and dry ingredients with a mixer or the blades of butter knives until coated. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 18-23 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done. (These muffins will be generously-sized muffins.)