Blueberry Macadamia Muffins

My calendar says that summer technically arrives on June 21st, but these heat waves and the strawberry stands up & down the road are telling me otherwise. It's warm enough to jump into a perfectly cold pool with reckless abandon, and for my life to be semi-overtaken by fruity, umbrella-worthy refreshments. It is summer.

And it's berry season.

I've been longing to venture out to the farmers markets and see the rows and rows of freshly-picked fruit all lined up in their little baskets. I became determined to make blueberry muffins as a simple, easy way of appeasing yet another one of my super-cravings.

Muffins also remind me of waking up at dawn before long road trips and sunrise hikes, a grab-and-go breakfast from Starbucks or (yes...) 7-Eleven. Muffins are the kind of thing that makes a 6 1/2 hour drive to Disneyland with two rambunctious a packed minivan...manageable. They make you feel like a multi-tasking queen, while you have a muffin in one hand and the steering wheel/map/stereo dial in the other...or yelling at your malfunctioning GPS with a mouthful of muffin, if you're that kind of road rager. Like me. (Please, eat and drive responsibly.) So, for all of you summer-road trip-hike-berry lovers out there, how about we skip the stop at Starbucks, go straight to putting on your ultimate cruising-down-the-highway playlist, and bake some Blueberry Macadamia Muffins? Bursts of sweet and tart blueberry, crunch from toasted macadamia nuts, and rich vanilla bean in every bite!

First things first, measure out all of your ingredients.

I have to admit that I've gotten wayyy better at this...scooping things out of their bags/canisters/etc. as I go, leaving a pile of bags/canisters/etc. on my kitchen island to get around to later...Yup. That used to be me. I am now proud BFF's with my ramekins. In any case, this step makes everything else go a lot faster. You'll have these muffins baked and be out the door, a lot faster.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg and sugar until it's pale and thick. Then, add the melted butter, half & half, and vanilla beans. Make sure to whisk after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Take a 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts, and run it through the food processor. Pulse about a dozen times to get a more crumbly texture. Reserve 2 tbsps for the topping, then add the remaining nuts to the dry ingredients.

Macadamia nuts give the muffin texture, but raw macadamias (unsalted/non-roasted) also have a buttery flavor and a hint of natural sweetness. Instead of the typical almond or walnut, try using macadamias! They pair well with the vanilla bean in this recipe, as well.

At last, the star of these muffins...big, beautiful blueberries! Toss the berries in the bowl of dry ingredients, enough to coat, then pour the mixture onto the wet ingredients.

Gently fold with a spatula to incorporate all of the ingredients, but leave the batter lumpy. (Avoid overmixing!)

PS. I love how you can see all of the tiny specks of vanilla bean!

Divide the batter into a muffin pan lined with paper baking cups, about 2 1/2 tbsps each. Just like making cupcakes, I like to use an ice cream/cookie scoop to measure.

Now, it's time to top each muffin with 1 teaspoon of the reserved, finely chopped macadamia nuts.

I hate when muffins have soggy tops. Ever had a store-bought one wrapped in plastic, and it just looks shiny and...moist? I want my muffin tops golden brown and crisp, thank you! And, like I mentioned before, these macadamias add a great crunch.

Bake the muffins at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, rotate the pan (a la "front to back"), and bake for another 12-15 minutes. A toothpick should be able to come out of the middle of a muffin cleanly. Finally, after removing the pan from the oven, transfer the muffins to a cooling rack.

My favorite part about using fresh blueberries is that you get these beautiful pockets of purple and blue color. The blueberries just melt right into the muffin.

Bring these with you on road trips, when you're heading off for an early-morning hike, when you're running late for work or school...They're a tasty, filling bite to start your day off right! Not to mention, they're a perfect way to get your berry fix this Summer :)

Blueberry Macadamia Muffins (makes 6 muffins)

Print Recipe

1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tbsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 large Egg
1/2 cup White Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 tbsps Unsalted Butter, melted
2/3 cup Half & Half
1 Vanilla Bean, split & seeded (*Or 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract)
1/2 cup Macadamia Nuts, finely chopped
2/3 cup Fresh Blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a muffin pan with baking cups.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar until pale and thick. Add the melted butter, half & half, and fresh vanilla beans. Whisk after each addition.
  4. Reserve 2 tbsps of the finely chopped macadamia nuts, then add the remaining nuts and blueberries to the dry ingredients. Lightly toss to coat. Next, pour this mixture onto the wet ingredients. Gently fold with a spatula to incorporate all of the ingredients. The batter will be lumpy, so do not overmix.
  5. Divide the batter into the prepared muffin pan, then top each muffin with 1 tsp of the reserved macadamia nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, then rotate the pan. Bake for another 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out cleanly.
  6. After removing the pan from the oven, immediately transfer the muffins to a cooling rack.
  7. Serve warm or room temperature with coffee or tea! Enjoy!