little bites copycat blueberry muffins

I read Mindy Kaling’s book over the summer, and I literally laughed out loud through the entire book. One of my favorite quotes was:

“One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.”  

Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

While reading this, I immediately thought of my friend Emilia. She shares my love of running, baking, and meticulous gift wrapping (her tape and paper collection is bigger than mine — which is slightly scary …in an awesome way).  Oh, and just like me, she prefers fresh, zesty lemon to deep, rich chocolate.  She was the inspiration behind these lemon crinkle cookies.

Emilia and I take the subway home together every day from track practice, and we always whip out our phones and compare recipes on Pinterest (we also share a bit of an addiction to Pinterest…).  I often bake little treats to eat in the locker room after track (after 10 x 100 m dashes, we can all use some butter and sugar!).  The other day, we were discussing what I should bake for practice that afternoon, and eventually settled on these teeny-tiny blueberry muffins.

I whipped these up when I got home, and I was amazed when I took my first bite — they tasted exactly like Etenmann’s Little Bites!!! In lower school, my dad used to pack my lunch for me every day in a Hello Kitty lunchbox.  He would always pack a sandwich (either salami or jelly-cream cheese) and a little bag of blueberry Little Bites mini muffins.  The taste of blueberry Little Bites brought me back to the days of nap-time and Legos.  These tiny muffins whip up in matter of minutes, and are the perfect thing to sneak in your purse or backpack when you need a “little bite” of something delicious. 😉

What did you eat for lunch in elementary school?

With love,

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

3 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon warm water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, lemon extract and vanilla, beating to combine. 
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined. Fold in the blueberries. 
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full. 
Bake the muffins for 5-8 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean. 
In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, lemon extract and water. Whisk until smooth.
When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. At this point, you can leave them as is or go for the double dip. I glazed my muffins twice.
Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.
Adapted from My Baking Addiction

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11 thoughts on “little bites copycat blueberry muffins

  1. Shu Han

    I'm glad you managed to recreate your childhood faves using homemade real ingredients:) looks absolutely lovely! mm since I grew up in asia, I must say my lunches were quite different. my favourite was filled steamed buns, either with sweet red bean paste or with roast pork 🙂

    1. Cannella Vita

      Yum! I am half Japanese, and I used to love red bean buns when I was little (and still do now!). Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anonymous

    Oh, they look delicious Erica! Haha, I used to eat a sandwich (usually cheese and Marmite, or cheese and pickle) followed by some fruit and a muesli bar or a fruit roll-up (fruit leather). My mum also used to like packing a little frozen juice box to keep my lunch cold until midday 🙂

  3. The Kitchen Kook

    Ohmigosh. Will you be MY friend?? Haha. These muffins are completely drool-worthy!

    And I always had just a sandwich and juice. I never got to try these treats until later on from my friends. 🙁 But now, I can make up for all of the lost years with this recipe!

    1. Anonymous

      I have hot lunch. Nasty, yucky, gross. That was elementary school. Midfle school has DELISH food. Yum.

  4. Christina

    Would squeezed lemon juice substitute for the lemon extract? And instead of the blueberries, would chocolate chips work? Thanks! These look absolutely divine!

    1. Cannella Vita

      Yes! You could add the juice of one lemon, and perhaps reduce a little bit of the other liquids to account for the moisture added from the juice! Mini chocolate chips would be great! Let me know if you end up making these!

  5. a. aten

    I just made these! Almond extract instead of lemon. Used a leftover different glaze. Delish! My girls loved them. Thanks for a great recipe.

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