Best Blueberry Muffins. Ever.

The alarm goes off. You grumble slightly because you JUST found the perfect sleeping position about 5 minutes ago. Get some pep in that step, time for the commute. Great.

Hold the phone people... breakfast! There are blueberry muffins waiting to be eaten. Suddenly- the morning just got a little more awesome. Does that sentence sound pathetic? One of those, "you know you're a foodie when...."

We are not judges here. It's okay to be excited for blueberry muffins.

Especially when they're the Best Blueberry Muffins.

What makes them the best? Well for starters, they have blueberries in them. Fresh, natural blueberries. Blueberries are the best fruit you can add to any baked good. YUM!

Secondly, it's not JUST fresh blueberries. These bad boys have home made blueberry jam swirled into them. Super simple and heavenly. All you have to do is throw some blueberries tossed in sugar on the stove top. Let it get mushy. No problem!

Third, the batter is soft and thick. This is perfect muffin batter because it can support the weight of the fruit. You don't want your blueberries sinking to the bottom. You want to be able to tear this sucker apart and see a blue spots everywhere.

Finally... the sweetness on top. There is no crumble to this muffin. Instead, you sprinkle a mix of lemon zest and sugar. This adds a delicious dimension because the humble flavor of the blueberry is articulated by the zing of the lemon.

The result?

The best blueberry muffins. Ever. And remember to pack more than one in the morning. They disappear quick. Like ninjas. Ninja blueberry muffins.

Note: If you want cut the calories, skip the buttermilk and use regular milk!

Best Blueberry Muffins

by America's Test Kitchen

Lemon-Sugar Topping

1/3 cup sugar (2 1/3 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest

Muffins

2 cups fresh blueberries (about 10 ounces), divided
1 1/8 cups sugar (8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk OR 3/4 cup plain whole-milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping... stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.

As for the muffins.

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 12 standard muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.

Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.

Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)

Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.

Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.