Blueberry-Almond Muffins

Blueberry Almond Muffins

It's 3 p.m. Too late for lunch; too early for supper.

But you need something. These Blueberry-Almond Muffins will do nicely.

There’s nothing better than a homemade baked good for an afternoon snack. You'll probably eat them for breakfast, too.

You can make them with fresh or frozen berries. Fresh blueberries will retain their shape better during baking and will give you that little burst of flavor when you take a bite.

If you are using frozen berries, you don't need to thaw them. They sort of melt in your recipe as they bake.

Blueberries, which have lots of disease-fighting antioxidants, are one of nature's healthiest foods. And they have only 80 fat-free calories per cup.

The best blueberries are large, dry, plump and have a powdery, light blue color. When the waxy powder, called bloom, fades, the berries darken and become less firm and flavorful.

Fresh blueberries can last up to two weeks stored in the refrigerator. Wash them just before using.

Blueberry Almond Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.

1 package (7 ounces) almond paste, grated

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

2 cups flour

½ cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup milk

2 large eggs

1 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-count muffin tin.

2. In a food processor, combine almond paste, butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt. Pulse until butter and almond paste are finely cut into the flour.

3. In a medium bowl, beat milk with eggs. Add flour mixture and blueberries. Stir gently until ingredients are just incorporated.

4. Scoop batter into muffin tins sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 28 to 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack.