Okay... so these are probably THE BEST muffins I have made to date. In the words of my husband, they are "stellar" and "must become a staple in this house from now on". Blueberries, lemon, cream cheese, ginger? Where the heck could I have even gone wrong with these?? ;)
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
Crystallized or candied ginger- optional (I used a Baker's Cut from Trader Joe's.)
For the cream cheese "batter":
8 oz of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients- flour through the cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients- the milk through the lemon juice and zest. (Tip- Always zest the lemon before juicing it. To get the lemon to juice easier, microwave it for 10 seconds. Roll the warmed lemon with your hands on your counter and then cut in half. Hold the lemon halves cut side up as you squeeze out the juice to prevent the lemon seeds from getting into your bowl.)
Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients a little at a time. Mix until incorporated, but try not to over mix.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until nice and creamy. Gently fold half of the cream cheese "batter" into the blueberry muffin batter.
Fill each muffin cup in your pan about 2/3 of the way full with your muffin/cream cheese swirled batter. Grab the remaining cream cheese batter and drop one tablespoon of it on top of each muffin. Using the back of a spoon, press the batter into and swirl it around the top of each muffin.
Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the chopped crystallized or candied ginger and gently press them into the tops of the muffins with a spoon.
Bake for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees, turning your muffin tin once halfway through baking. The cream cheese tops of the muffins will get golden edges when done, but shouldn't be brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins should come out clean when done.
Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.