Like cookies, there are a bazillion different muffin recipes out there. And, like cookies, some are better than others.
What do you look for in a muffin?
I personally like a muffin that isn't trying to be a cupcake (a la Costco), that isn't too oily, and that has a nice firm, even slightly crisp top. I look for a delicate crumb and simple flavours, a moist texture but one that isn't going to fall apart and crumble to to bits before I get it to my mouth.
This recipe is all these things. Adapted from Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse, I bring you...
The Ultimate Blueberry Muffin
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tbsp lemon juice; let sit 5 minutes)
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
zest of one lemon or one orange
Cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Whisk together the dry ingredients and add, alternating with buttermilk in 2 or three additions, to the butter mixture. Add zest. Fold in blueberries. Scoop into muffin tins, greased or with papers, and bake at 350F for 25 - 30 minutes. You should get 12 large muffins.
This is a versatile batter. You can replace the blueberries with any berry you want to, or make something like Orange Chocolate Chip, Lemon & White Chocolate Chip, Pineapple Coconut (drain the pineapple very well and pat dry with paper towels). Use your imagination; the sky's the limit!
NB: Nutritional information per muffin is here.