Balsamic Strawberry Muffins
This is one of those recipes that came to me as an epiphany. While I was making the morning muffins for the shop: “We have strawberries. What tastes good with strawberries? Balsamic vinegar!” Your gut reaction might be that vinegar has no place in baked goods, but it’s actually fairly common and uncommonly delicious. You get what you pay for with balsamic vinegar, and it’s worth it to use a higher
quality aged vinegar in this recipe; you will be able to taste the difference. The addition of vinegar changes the chemistry of the batter, and I did some tinkering
to get this version to come out just right. The muffins puffed up beautifully in the oven but collapsed once they cooled. After a few experiments in our
state-of-the-art food-science laboratory (okay, our home kitchen). The secret was switching entirely to baking soda and leaving out the baking powder.
6 Tbsp [85 g] salted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup [80 ml] whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
11/3 cups [180 g] all-purpose flour
1/2 cup [100 g] sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups [280 g] fresh or frozen strawberries, cut into 1/2-in [12-mm] pieces
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Line a 12-well standard or 6-well jumbo muffin pan with paper liners or coat thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and the eggs. Add the milk, vanilla, and balsamic
vinegar and whisk until well combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda,
3) Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and use a rubber spatula to carefully fold together
until just combined. Gently fold in the strawberries. Be careful not to overmix, or your muffins will be
tough; the batter should still have a couple of streaks of flour.
4) Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin wells and mound the streusel evenly over the
top of each filled well.
5) Bake until the tops are golden brown and a muffin bounces back when you poke it gently in the
center with a finger, 22 to 26 minutes for standard size or 30 to 35 minutes for jumbo.
6) Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift the
muffins from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack to cool a little more. (Use a butter knife, if needed,
to lift the muffins out if you didn’t use paper liners.) Serve warm.