Berry Muffins

First off, I want to wish Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all the other moms out there.  My mom is the greatest.  If I didn't live six hours away, I might make her something like these muffins for breakfast in bed.  As it is she'll have to settle for a call-out in my blog, a phone call and a (belated, oops) gift.

We in Seattle talk about the weather all the time, and not just for polite chit-chat.  We feel very strongly about the weather, and what we most feel (especially lately) is that it is really letting us down.  It is hard to tell how much this is hyberbole (we complain all the time) and also seem to be satisfied with a very narrow range of temperatures (I think people complain the most if it ever gets over 85, so hot!).  By the end of February (which is basically the worst month) we're ready for spring, which usually doesn't roll around until the end of April.  However, this year we may have actual reason to complain: it was the coldest April on record.
Our solution to this in Seattle is just to ignore reality.  If it is sunny (even if it is still under 50 degrees) we pretend it is warm enough to wear shorts and t-shirts.  If it is only raining a little (I like to call it "misting") we eschew umbrellas and pretend like we're not getting wet (well, we hate umbrellas all the time).  I found some beautiful raspberries at the grocery store and so I decided to pretend the weather outside matched raspberry weather and made delicious muffins with it.
If you don't have raspberries, these muffins work great with any berries or other fruit.  I liked them because they were super moist.  I brought them into work and had them at my desk and then proceeded to eat four of them (always dangerous).  They're great for breakfast or an afternoon snack or a mid morning snack or post lunch snack (did I mention I had four?).  Anyway, enjoy and remember to call your mother and tell her she is awesome.

Berry Muffins

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsps baking powder
1 1/2 tsps salt
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups whole milk
8 tbsps (1 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 cups ripe fruit (whole berries or fruit cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
1/2 cup coarse raw sugar
1. Sift flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Mix gently with a wooden spoon and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and milk, and mix with a whisk until combined. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir just until all the dry ingredients are moistened.
3. Slowly add melted butter and continue mixing until batter is smooth.
4. Gently fold fruit into batter, taking care to avoid crushing the fruit. Scoop the batter into muffin tins brushed with canola oil.
5. Bake in the center rake of a preheated 375F degree oven for 24 to 30 minutes, until muffins are golden brown. Let cool for at least 10 minutes and then remove from pan.
Recipe from Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook by Leslie Mackie

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