Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blueberry Muffin Bread

Blueberry Muffin Bread: A Cinderella Story.  Once upon a time, there was a man who hated butter.  (Insert screeching-to-a-halt noise).  Rewind!  Repeat!  Hates butter?  Who could possibly hate butter?  That was my reaction.  Apparently, along with the small minority of strange people who hate chocolate and cheese, there are those who detest the rich, fatty-glory that is butter.  My depositions professor is one of those misguided souls (He also hates cheese!!! Gasp!).  His casual utterance of this fact shocked me, and I was sure I had misheard him.  He might as well have said, "I hate kittens and butterflies!  I hate summertime and popsicles! I'll have some delicious cake, but hold the delicious."

I rationalized that perhaps he has a health-conscious outlook on life, but Prof. seems like a decidedly straightforward person.  He would have said, "I love butter but I choose cardboard."  Plus, he seems more into burgers than beer tofu and acai.  I decided I needed to bake something and bring it to class to test his exaggeration factor.  Something nice and buttery... Cookies!

So... obviously, the title of this post is NOT "buttery cookies."  I did start out with a cookie recipe, though unbeknownst to me it was the WORST cookie recipe EVER.  I should have known that the ill-fated cookie recipe (Grandma's sour cream delights or something of the sort) was a dud.  The cookies looked plain and buscuit-like in the photo, and the recipe suggested I spread them with jam - obviously to distract the eater from the fact that they have no flavor.  I moved on in search of something more promising, but alas, I could find no other cookies calling for the sour cream (with its fast approaching "use by" date) in my fridge.  Being a stubborn person, I proceeded to bake Granny's questionable cookies instead of opting for a more fitting pastry genre (sour cream coffee cake, duh).  After whipping up the dough (yum!), I put a small batch in the over, and popped the rest in the fridge to wait its turn.  Fast forward ten minutes.  Pull cookies from oven.  Remove from sheet.  Bite into piping hot... blandness?  Another bite to make sure... Dang it!!!!.  Dry, stiff, bland, gross.  No cookies for depos class.  No cookies going to the ball (to carry the strained Cinderella metaphor).  Maybe Granny was senile and penned the wrong recipe to poor grandchild.  Or maybe her taste buds departed with her youth (what's the grand-kid's excuse?).  Whatever the reason, I now had a huge bowl of dough languishing in my fridge.  But I wasn't ready to admit defeat! 

I turned to Paula Deen for help.  Drawling, y'all-ing Paula Deen is the queen of all things gooey, decadent, and BUTTERY.  She kind of looks like a fairy-godmother... If anyone could've save my withered sand-pucks, it was her.  Sure enough, a recipe for Paula's pound cake inspired me to doctor my dough.  With just two cups of sugar and four more eggs I had a cure.  Despite over-mixing (cardinal baking sin!), random extra ingredients, and a highly unorthodox preparation, my dough metamorphosed into a fluffy, sugar-crusted, blueberry studded treat!   Glamorous!  (For a realistic idea of the results, picture Duncan Hines blueberry muffins in loaf shape).  Although I can now live Happily Ever After, my muffin bread, sadly, will not get to go to the ball (i.e. depos class).  Too hard to serve and other plausible excuses.  I'm eatin' the whoooole thing!

Blueberry Muffin Bread

3 c. sugar
1 c. softened butter
1 T. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
6 eggs
3.5 c. flour
1 t. salt
3/4 t. baking soda
3/4 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (I used about a handful of frozen wild blueberries)

Preheat the oven to 325.  Butter two loaf pans or one 10-c. tube pan, dust with flour.  Cream the butter and sugar, and then mix in the sour cream, vanilla and eggs until well blended.  In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Fold in the blueberries (avoid mashing unless you want ugly gray bread).  Pour into pan(s) and bake 1 hr and 20 min, or until dark-golden.  A knife inserted into the center of the bread should come out clean.

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