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say it with me now, “om nom nom”

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Okay, Recipe Round-Robin Tastebuds . . . did you get Recipe A? Did you just love it? Well, so did everyone else, and I’m so excited to announce the winner of Omnomicon’s very first Recipe Round-Robin: it’s none other than my old pal Lo of Burp! Where Food Happens fame!! Come on down, Lo, you have won your very own copy of The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.

See? Like that!

I want to thank the several other folks who entered the contest for so generously sharing their recipes. Y’all rock! Everyone had delicious descriptions of each of the recipes involved, so rest assured yours garnered some mad props in some end of the globe.

So what made this recipe so awesome? Here are some of the nice things our Tastebuds had to say:

  • Muffin A was hailed as “the best blueberry muffin EVER”.
  • A was fluffy, moist and very very tasty.
  • This was a difficult, very delicious decision. But Recipe A is the winner in my book (er, stomach?).

And here’s what my test run of Lo’s Blueberry Pecan Muffins with Brown Sugar Topping looked like. We start with buttermilk and oil. It looks pretty cool.

Oil and buttermilk.

If you don’t have a cup of buttermilk on hand, you can always substitute a cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice, or, as I recently found out, 1 cup of yogurt. Now, clearly Lo got it right with the buttermilk, but just in case you forgot to pick up the buttermilk at the grocery store, these are things you are more likely to have already on hand.

There were blueberries, of course.

Blueberries, of course.

. . . and a subtle amount of pecans in the batter that is *juuuuuusssttt* enough without overdoing it.

Pecans are a secret.

I have to admit that I kind of messed this up just a teensy bit, though not enough to destroy the tastiness of all this (*phew!*). See, I was out of dark brown sugar, and apparently I haven’t quite mastered how to make dark brown sugar out of sugar and molasses, soo . . . my topping was a little too wet (as in, it had too much butter and not enough sugar). And because of that, I ended up with little holes into the top of my muffins. But if you use hard packed brown sugar and did it right, yours should look more like mounds of brown sugar and less like um, well . . . brown gloop on top. Like I said, this is me and NOT the recipe. So make sure yours looks like brown sugar still.

My mistake.

And you know, the brown sugar and pecan topping really makes this extra-special.

The topping makes it.

But in the end, it’s a blueberry muffin, and aren’t they always just totally delicious?

Best blueberry muffin.

Lo’s Award-Winning Blueberry Pecan Muffins with Brown Sugar Topping
courtesy of Lo

2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
3 T melted butter *(see NOTE below)
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375º.

Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and 1/2 cup pecans in large bowl.

Whisk buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla in small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; stir just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Allow batter for 15 minutes before dividing evenly among paper-lined muffin cups.

Combine melted butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. [Aleta’s NOTE (and the only part of this not word-for-word Lo’s recipe): a lot of people have had a hard time with this crumbly topping like I did (notably, others have had no problem at all), probably from not packing sugar enough. Because brown sugar packing is an inexact process, I recommend reducing the butter 1 tbsp or eliminating altogether to prevent sunken-in tops.] Spoon 2 tsp over each muffin then sprinkle with 1 tsp of the remaining finely chopped pecans.

Bake muffins at 375º for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.



nutrition summary (for 1 of about 14 muffins, with topping, real egg & all-purpose flour): 310 calories, 1g fiber, 16g fat; 7 weight watchers points



Hey, one last thing: a lot of participants said they enjoyed taste-testing and would do it again. Yay! That means my experiment was successful! That said, what do you think would be a good recipe standard for the next Recipe Round-Robin? I’m looking for the kind of thing that everyone has a recipe for. So far Twitterers have recommended things like macaroni & cheese, meatloaf and shepherd’s pie . . . keep going, what else can you think of? Leave a comment if you know just the thing, and thanks dude!

  1. ChemicalDependence Said,

    My roommates and I made an event out of the RRR. We would love to do it again. The baked good genre still holds endless possibilities such as chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, etc. but I’d be pretty excited to do dinner-food too.

    I’m afraid we were a little more candid about the recipe we did not like…but feel free to check out our experience of A vs. D at the link above.

  2. Bree Said,

    I had A and I LOVED it!

    How about meatloaf, or chocolate chip cookies or chocolate cake?

  3. Pearl Said,

    YAAAY congrats Lo! What a great lookin’ cupcake!

  4. SteffanyF Said,

    Spaghetti sauce!

  5. Kelsey Said,

    That sounds AMAZING.

  6. Caroline M. Said,

    I’d like to second the chocolate chip cookie movement. That’s one of those that you can do 100 different ways and never have it coming out quite the same.

    Plus, I, personally could really use a better chocolate chip cookie recipe than the one I have now!

  7. Apollo Said,

    I’d love to see a shepherd’s pie contest. I’ve been looking for a good shepherd’s pie recipe for a long time now.

  8. greenbean Said,

    ditto on the chocolate chip cookies!

  9. Clare Said,

    I vote for chocolate cupcake testing!

  10. kickpleat Said,

    Oh my, I have everything to make these. I definitely have to use up last summer’s blueberries that I have stashed in my freezer. Perfect.

  11. Liz Said,

    I am so glad to see that recipe A won – we were fortunate enough to be able to try it, and they were delicious! I didn’t do the WW Points calculations though so I’m a little disappointed to see they are 7 pts each LOL Glad I only ended up eating half πŸ™‚

    For future RRR, I would like to see the baked goods alternated with something more savory for those of us who aren’t big on baking or sweets. Something like meatloaf or macaroni and cheese sounds really good. Shepherd’s Pie, burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken and rice casserole, or lasagna maybe?

  12. Kim Said,

    2 weeks ago, my office had a salsa making contest. This week, its chili!

  13. Steve Said,

    Oh god, shepherd’s pie please.

    That is my ULTIMATE comfort food. Om to the nom nom.

  14. Matt Said,

    Wow! Made these last night with dried blueberries from trader joe’s and some dried cranberries. Absolutely delicious! I found that a little less sugar and a little butter in place of about half the oil went over just fine, though.


  15. Amy I. Said,

    Oh, I hope you do a chocolate chip cookie RR at some point! It’s my only original/non-cookbook recipe I have that could be eligible!

  16. Mu Said,

    OMG I am making these this weekend: I have a pound of pecans my grandmother sent me that simply must get used for this recipe.

    As for idears: BURGERS. Would love to know what people put into their patties to make ’em super awesome. GAZPACHO. I need a good recipe ’cause I love it so much and never make it in the summer when I should ’cause I don’t want to waste tomatoes when they’re at their peak with a crappy recipe.

  17. Leah Said,

    I love this site/blog. It’s title makes me chuckle…a lot.

    Thank you!


  18. stephchows Said,

    If anyone is interested in reading about recipe B and E, you can check it out over here πŸ™‚

  19. Leigh Said,

    Gotta love it! Full (Gastronomic) Tilt reviewed Recipes C and D. Clicky my name for the link! πŸ™‚

    This was so much fun!

  20. lo Said,

    MMm!! So glad you guys enjoyed the muffins! I didn’t get a chance to take a peek back here until now. But, wow. Aleta — those photos make them look truly spectacular πŸ™‚

    As for future round robins, I’m TOTALLY in!!
    I think chocolate chip cookies would be spectacular. As would chili (SO many variations). I’d also be up for something as mundane as pancakes… or waffles… or gosh, just about anything.

  21. lo Said,

    I often substitute plain, vanilla, or even maple, yogurt for the buttermilk in this recipe, and it’s fantastic that way. Lemon would probably be good too πŸ™‚

  22. Deb Said,

    Meatloaf – YES! My mother has the BEST meatloaf recipe! My sister-in-law made Martha Stewart’s once, which took her a few hours, and it wasn’t good at all! She threw it away and called my Mom for her recipe. The topping has an interesting kick. πŸ˜€

  23. Ryan Said,

    Apple pie, I think, would make an awesome RRR. πŸ˜€

  24. JenB Said,

    A quick warning about muffin recipe B: Refrigerate the muffins if you used the frozen blueberries the recipe suggested. I just bit into one of the muffins that I’d kept in a sealed container for two days at room temperature, and the blueberries had decayed, resulting in a bad, sour-tasting muffin.

  25. Jeff Said,

    Made a batch of the winners last night and brought them into the office today to try to assuage some of the post-layoff-Friday grief. These things are AWESOME. The only addition I would make would be to add some flour in with the brown sugar when you’re beating in the melted butter with a fork — it’s a lot more strudel-y that way.

    And yes to more RRR challenges. Count me in!

  26. Laurel Said,

    I finally made these muffins this morning, and YUM! They are good. I had a hard time waiting for the 15 minute cooling-off period, but since there is brown sugar on top, I knew why. However, I was not ready for the ooey-gooey delicious-ness on the inside! That blew me away.

    I live and bake in Jordan, so I sometimes need to substitute ingredients. I did not make the muffins with blueberries, since they are only available for a short period of time in spring, imported from Australia. I would need to spend the equivalent of $20 to get the cup needed. I made them with fresh sweet cherries, which I pitted and cut in half. Um, YUM!

    I can’t wait to try these again when the apples come in!

    They are also very tasty plain, on their own, just batter and topping. Like individual coffee cakes. YUM!

    I planted two blueberry bushes (ordered from internet) in the garden this year. I hope by next year, or the next, I can make these with my own blueberries! 20-06-09

  27. The Not So Skinny Kitchen – Blueberry Muffin Recipe Round-Robin Said,

    […] posted all the results today, there were many other recipes to be tried other than A and B, but A was the clear winner. It […]

  28. Annie C. Said,

    WOW are these muffins delicious!! Just made them for the second time; they’re sitting in my kitchen cooling right at this moment!

    The first time I made them, I had the same problem with the sunken tops from the brown sugar/butter ratio. This time I followed Aleta’s tip and used only 2 tablespoons of butter, and I’ve ended up with perfectly rounded muffin-tops! It’s hard to see the term “muffin-top” as a bad thing when I’m sitting here staring at these PERFECT, DELICIOUS things!!

    I can’t wait to share these with my boyfriend πŸ™‚ Definitely going to be making these many many times, maybe with other fruits substituted for the blueberries depending on what’s in season!

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