I just adore huckleberries! I grew up in Idaho, where huckleberries grow wild in the mountains. I always look forward to the end of summer when the huckleberries will be ripe! I love being in the mountains, breathing the fresh air, digging through the undergrowth looking for the little nuggets of deep purple gold. It is even more fun because we usually go with good friends and family and make a fun time of it together.
As any huckleberry hound knows, each little berry is a precious gem, not to be wasted! We eat them fresh while we pick them, then take them home and freeze them to enjoy sparingly, doing our best to extend their lifespan as long as possible. Well, the other day we broke out our stash from the freezer and made these delectable muffins. They were just divine! My mouth is watering right now, remembering the little burst of summer flavor in each juicy berry. If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to get your hands on some huckleberries, you might be able to find some wild frozen blueberries, which are just tiny blueberries. My local Food Club grocery store usually carries them. You can even use regular blueberries, raspberries, diced peaches, apples or pears. Be creative! And enjoy!
Start by melting the butter, either in a small saucepan on the stove or in a glass bowl in the microwave. Whisk in the vanilla, sugar, egg and applesauce or mashed banana.
Add all of your dry ingredients at once; the flour, baking powder and salt. The traditional muffin method is to mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add it to the wet ingredients, but it doesn’t make a difference that I can tell. Follow your heart! 😉 Fold in with a rubber scraper or large spoon until all of the dry ingredients are just BARELY incorporated. Mixing too much will make the gluten in the flour stringy, causing your muffins to be tough instead of tender.
Gently fold in your huckleberries.
Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. I like to use paper liners. Not much worse than hand washing muffin tins! Bake at 375 degrees F for 12-18 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
Cool about 5 minutes in the tin, then remove to a wire rack.
While the muffins are cooling in the tin, melt 1/4 cup (1/2 cube) butter in a small bowl, then mix your sugar and cinnamon together in another small bowl. After removing the muffins from the tin, dip the top of each muffin into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar.