Home: never have I so appreciated the cool, breezy-sunny weather of northern California as I did this past weekend, celebrating the fourth of July in perfect 70 degree weather. Not one trace of humidity.
The fourth consisted of: blowing up balloons and watching the hometown parade, eating veggie burgers after a near miss with a beef burger (ew), Cheeto fingers, tan lines and card games played on plastic chairs in the cul-de-sac, Japanese snack crackers and three types of pie. Berries, berries galore, brunch, and muffin-making: all in all, a fantastic weekend.
Sunday marked homemade brunch with an old friend of mine (we went to the same elementary, middle and high school together), now a fellow food blogger. Meet Shikha:
She writes and bakes at Shikhalamode, works at a start up in San Francisco, and lives the foodie life’s dream on a daily basis. You guys, she lives down the street from BI-RITE. Does it get any better? She possesses an impressive knowledge of San Francisco restaurants (if you want recs, this is the girl to ask) and a love for pastry that rivals my own. She’s worked as a pastry chef at three different restaurants in San Francisco and her ultimate goal is to someday open her open bakery.
After gathering as many family members and friends as we could find, we chowed down on the following:
A fantastically tangy leek, arugula and corn quiche, the recipe for which you can find over here:
This peach dutch baby from Bon Appetit, which unfortunately fell rather flat. I whisked the batter by hand instead of using a blender and perhaps not enough air was incorporated into the batter, because it was kind of spongy. The caramelized peaches were tasty, though:
Muffins that I tossed in the oven as an off-the-cuff experiment thankfully saved the carb-day. One of our neighbors who came for brunch has a son who works for an organic food company, and she gave me some samples of the luscious raw, organic nut butters that they sell.
Organic cashew butter
fresh honey from the neighborhood beekeeper
TONS of fresh berries from farmer’s market guy clearing out his wares
cashew honey blackberry muffins.
These muffins require no eggs or butter. They’re almost vegan except for the honey, which is so key! The local honey I used was so powerfully sweet and delicious, just a small amount was needed to sweeten these muffins. The blackberries, which slump into jammy pockets within tender, cashew butter-enriched muffin batter, are the clutch partner-in-crime. There’s a dry “streusel” on top because…I forgot to add the wet ingredients. But it works. And it looks pretty!
I’ve made these twice: once with whole wheat flour and once with half oat, half buckwheat flour. The whole wheat flour muffins will reach taller heights, but the gluten-free version is just as tasty.
Cashew Honey Blackberry Muffins
- For the muffins:
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar
- ½ tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon cashew butter*
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup whole wheat flour GF version: ¼ cup GF oat flour + ¼ cup buckwheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup fresh blackberries
- For the streusel:
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon oats
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If you’re not using paper liners, lightly grease a muffin tin.
- Combine the oats, milk and vinegar (your “buttermilk”—the vinegar will react with the baking powder later) in a mixing bowl. Let the oats soak for at least 5 and up to 30 minutes. Add the oil, cashew butter, honey, and vanilla. Stir by hand until just combined.
- Add the flour(s), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until evenly incorporated.
- Before adding the berries, scoop a tablespoon of batter into each muffin tin. This will prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins. Gently fold the blackberries into the remaining batter and divide evenly between the muffin tins.
- For the streusel, combine the flour, oats and brown sugar together. Sprinkle a small spoonful of crumbs over each muffin before baking.
- Bake muffins for 13-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Just tried them tonight. A bit disappointed they were only ok, not great. The streusel topping did not melt nice like in the picture on mine; shouldn’t have added the flour to it I think. Overall, not bad but not what I wanted or would make again.
ugh I want to eat everything in that second picture, summer perfection!! i’m loving the oat streusel on top of the muffins as well, it can be hard to make muffins look pretty but that streusel on top is just perfect!
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
You make these look so easy.. and so delicious!
Everything looks scrumptious from the brunch and glad to hear you had a great holiday 🙂 Wowsa, the muffins look fantastically delicious Erika. I love how tall your muffins are even with no eggs. The organic cashew butter sounds mouthwatering and I can just imagine how juicy and amazing the muffins taste with the fresh berries and streusel topping 🙂
carla @ eat sweet. by carla sue
Yum! Will have to see if I can find casher butter here somewhere, because I would LOVE to try these. And what a great idea to have a blogger’s brunch. So glad you had a great weekend!
Nancy @ gottagetbaked
That’s it – I’m moving in with you so that I can eat delicious and healthy food like everything at this wonderful brunch spread. You’re cool with that, right? I’m glad you have a fun 4th of July. Thanks for introducing me to Shikha. I’m definitely going to check out her blog, especially since she’s in San Fran (one of my fave cities ever!). Everyone told me to get ice cream at Bi-Rite and Humphry Slocombe during the week I was there but I was only in the city one day and didn’t make it to either 🙁 I’m so sad about it! Ah well, next time. I love the flavour combination in these gorgeous muffins. They look delicious!
Erika, I love these! I love how full those tops look and love that you used cashews. I love cashews and use them all the time. They are such a wonderful nut. I just used them as a base for an ice cream cake and it made it so light. I bet the honey made these muffins so wonderfully sweet too, and I love the fluffy topping!! The brunch looks like a great time with lots of yummy food! Oh, and I have been making blueberry muffins for my daughter every morning with oats and buckwheat also!! So healthy!! I use blueberries and lots of cinnamon and she gobbles them up!! 🙂
Love love those pictures with the split centre, revealing the gorgeous berry hue! Nothing better than berries and streusel, methinks (well, except if there’s chocolate involved, but… well, these are healthier!)
I wish that I had been at the blogging breakfast. Looks like such a gorgeous event. I love having likeminded foodie friends to hang out with. Glad that you guys are still fast friends (both on and offline!). I’ll have to check out Shikha’s blog! Thanks Erika! xx
Awesome, no eggs or butter, and they look gorgeous. Beautiful texture!
Cashew honey sounds like a great combo; so outside the norm!
These look stellar! I want one right now! I’m in love with berries right now!
4th of July sounds absolutely wonderful my friend 😀
Just as awesome as these gorgeous muffins, they look so juicy with those berries!
The Wimpy Vegetarian
Welcome back home!! You had gorgeous Bay Area weather. It had been soooo hot before the 4th. These look wonderful!!
YES WE DID! The fourth was absolutely perfect (although the next day was strangely dreary!). Hope you had a fantastic fourth in…Tahoe?
Nora (Buttercream Fanatic)
Your brunch looks fantastic, and so do these muffins! I definitely plan to check out your friend’s site.
Yay! Please do–she’s so awesome. AWESOME resource for San Franciscans, especially!
Seriously, this was amazing. I have the nut butter, I’m going to use this recipe for my own brunch this weekend!
Yayy!!! Can’t wait to see the recap!!
Sounds like you had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend! I’m jealous of your 70 degree weather and low humidity. It was really muggy and hot here in DC. These muffins look like a perfect use for some summer berries 🙂
Yes, it was so nice! And the weather in Houston seems to have calmed down as well so I am just a happy clam–hope it gets better in DC soon!!
Ooooh…. I’m imagining these with some added nuggets of chopped cashews… they look wonderful!
(¸.•´ (¸.•`¤… Jennifer
Jenn’s Random Scraps
Oh yum! I’ve actually never added cashews to any baked good, ever, but that sounds like a fab idea!