I just want to take a moment and say something.
I'm really happy.
Yes, seriously! I'm getting sweet comments from people about my blog so much lately. And it isn't limited to the little comment section at the bottom of the page. I've had people post on my facebook, mention me on twitter, and a few friends of mine have stopped me just to say, "I love your blog! Like, seriously! It makes me so happy."
You know what? YOU make me so happy. I don't care if I have 6 or 600 followers. Ever. The ones I have right now are just sweet. I love doing what I do here, I love inspiring people to make cupcakes. I love when people throw kind words at me. Thank you, you make my life.
Now, I'm not always so contented, but that makes it all the more special when I am, right? I thought so.
But, you know, this isn't my first attempt at blogging. No sirree! The summer of 2011 I launched a purple (Literally, it was purple...I like to think that I've learned more about the art of subtlety since then. Ugh.) blog with hopes of being famous and renowned. In short, I got my hopes up too much.
My motivation dwindled, and frustration increased. Finally, I couldn't bear it much longer. I was adjusting my layout every day, trying so hard (too hard) to take pretty pictures, and really...it just wasn't good for me. I had to let it go.
So, for a year, I observed. I'm following so many food blogs right now...it's not even funny. But they all inspired me in some way. Some of my favorite advice came from Elissa of 17 and Baking. A sincerely sweet college girl who replied to my crazed email in the midst of January finals, bless her soul.
Anyway, what she said was very much applicable, and has stuck with me. "Getting readers is a gradual process, but people will stick to your site if you produce quality posts. So I guess my overall advice is, do what you love and have fun, and people will naturally show up."
Huh, it's that easy? Honestly, I'm still finding out. But one thing I know for sure, I'm happy here. I'm happy doing what I'm doing, no matter how many pageviews I get, how many readers, how many comments..blah blah blah.
There's so much more to blogging than numbers and statistics, it's something I really need to remind myself a lot. I want to keep things real. But your presence, you, reading these words, makes this all much, much easier. I appreciate you.
So! Muffins. Omnomnom. That's all I have to say.
That, and you can also use just about any berry (fresh or frozen) or jam combo that you want. With the exception of strawberries, they're kinda big and watery. I recommend the fresh blackberries.
Blackberry and Jam Muffins with Streusel Topping
Yield: 15-18 muffins
Ingredients for the muffins:
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2-1 cup frozen or fresh blackberries
- 3 tbsp. blackberry jam
Ingredients for the streusel topping:
- 3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 tbsp. sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners
Melt butter in a small saucepan over moderately low heat; remove from heat. Whisk in milk, egg, yolk and vanilla until well combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add milk mixture and stir until just combined. Gently but thoroughly fold in the berries and jam. Divide batter among muffin cups and spread evenly, filling each about halfway.
To make the topping, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over batter in cups.
Bake until golden and crisp (I think I underbaked mine a little, for whatever reason my streusel did not brown well. Still good though!) and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 18-22 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then carefully remove from cups. Serve warm or at room temperature. Omnomnom.
Sources: adapted from Joy the Baker, who adapted it from The Gourmet Cookbook