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Saturday 25 November 2017

Blueberry & Cream Cheese Muffins

With the cooler days coming, or already here depending on where you live, fun indoor activities for the kids are on my mind. As Mathilde is getting older and becoming more independent, one fun activity she really has taken a liking to is baking. She loves pouring the ingredients, stirring it all together, cracking the eggs (always her favorite), and at the end of all that fun there's a delicious treat. What could be better?

So while the big kids are at school Mathilde and I have been doing quite a bit of baking together. It really is such a great activity to do together and I love seeing how much joy it brings. Now, I know that this is the season for baking everything pumpkin spice or gingerbread flavored, but I like to mix things up a little so our baking lately hasn't been particularly seasonal. In fact, it's been almost Summery. Blame it on me being Australian and my seasonal body clock (if that's a thing) being all mixed up!   

Our latest baking fun resulted in delicious blueberry and cream cheese muffins. They're so good that I just had to share the recipe with you all. The cream cheese centers of these muffins are my favorite and they taste especially good warmed up. It's kind of like they've been buttered for you to give that extra special treat.

Today I've teamed up with Real California Milk, not only to bring you this tasty recipe, but to share the Seals for Good campaign. You may remember that I shared the Seals For Good campaign and how it is helping communities affected by the hurricanes in Texas and Florida a little while back. The campaign has been extended to send some love and support to those affected by the devastating wildfires right here in California.

To take part in the Seals For Good campaign, simply snap a photo of the Real California Milk logo (which you can see below) on any dairy product and share it on your social media using #SealsForGood. For each share, Real California Milk will donate $5 to the Great American Milk Drive, up to $10k in California and $20k in Texas and Florida. Post your pictures any time between now and December 31st 2017 and don't forget to use that hashtag. No purchase is necessary.

Now here's a look at how we made those tasty muffins...

What you'll need

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on the top
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 3/4 cups frozen blueberries
8 oz block of cream cheese (cut into cubes)

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

Pour the sugar and butter into a large bowl. Cream together either using a mixer or with a wooden spoon. I used a mixer for this part which was one of the only steps that Mathilde didn't help with, although she did give it a good mix with her wooden spoon afterwards - while pulling a super cheesy grin in an attempt to look like the cartoon cow on the butter pack! 

Once the butter and sugar mix is fluffy add in the egg, egg yolks and vanilla.

Give it a good mix until it's well combined.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mix to the butter mix a little at a time, alternating with the milk. Stir well in between.

Once all of the flour and milk is mixed in, slowly fold in the blueberries. We used wild blueberries which are much bluer than regular blueberries and made for a purple/blue muffin mix. They also made for purple/blue toddler hands!

After cleaning those little blue hands, line a 12 hole muffin tray (or two 6 hole muffin trays) with cupcake liners. Fill each one about 2/3 full with muffin mix. The mixture made 18 muffins for me, but the original recipe I based this on suggested that it would make 12. If you would like the muffins larger, fill the liners closer to the top.

Place a cube of cream cheese into the center of each muffin and push it down.

Sprinkle generously with sugar - although maybe not quite as generously as Mathilde did!

Bake the muffins at 375F (190C) for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool on a rack then enjoy while warm for a soft cream cheese center.

While these muffins taste best warm, they're pretty tasty at room temperature too making them perfect for lunchboxes or picnics.

Don't these muffins look so good? I must admit I've eaten way too many of them in the past few days. But all those blueberries make them healthy, right? Right?!

When you go buy your dairy products to make these tasty muffins (and for all your other baking needs) make sure to look for the Real California Milk seal on the pack. And don't forget to share a pic on your social media to help support the Great American Milk Drive.

For more information about the Seals For Good campaign click here.

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