Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Berry Yogurt Muffins

I was doing my usual blog browsing last week and stumbled upon a recipe for Blueberry Muffins from The Brown Eyed Baker.  Well, I didn’t have a hankering for muffins before I saw this recipe and the mouth-watering pics but I certainly developed a craving afterwards!  It just so happened that I had some berries in the fridge (gotta love superfoods) that were on their last legs (still edible, just not amazing on their own).  Yup, this was happening.

I enjoy baking but it’s not something I do on a regular basis.  It’s challenging enough coming up with the ideas and finding the time to make dinners- who has the energy to bake?  Luckily, I had some spare time so I decided to take advantage of that.  When I get around to baking, since it’s not so often, I usually stick to the recipe and employ the “everything in moderation” rule.  In general, I abstain from sugar cookies because I have a hard time being directly responsible for 2 sticks of butter going into one dessert.  This muffin recipe was relatively healthy as far as desserts go but I felt there was still room for improvement. 

After doing a little research, I found out that you could substitute up to half of the fat in a recipe with a healthier option.  Typically, this works better with muffins, cakes, and breads.  Cookies rely heavily on the fat for texture so they tend to fall flat when they’re messed with.  The original recipe called for 4 tablespoons of butter so I used 2 and replaced the rest with applesauce.  Then I cut the sugar a bit since the applesauce is naturally sweetened.  I also used blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries because I wanted to finish them up.  Lastly, the original recipe called for sour cream but I used low fat plain yogurt because that’s what I had on hand.  I’m sure ricotta would work too.  My favorite part of this recipe was the thickness of the batter.  I didn't make a mess using an ice cream scoop to portion it out!

It’s fun to take a recipe and tweak it to suit your likes and fridge-contents.  I am by no means an expert on recipe development, but I enjoy giving it a whirl every now and then.  Try it- you may just invent the next best thing by accident! (Some say the brownie was invented when the baker left out the baking powder by accident)

Berry Yogurt Muffins
Adapted fromThe Brown Eyed Baker
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/8 c unsweetened applesauce
1¼ cups plain yogurt, low fat
1½ cups frozen or fresh berries (I used fresh blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry)

Yields: 16 muffins
·      Preheat the oven to 350 F and place muffin wrappers in 16 muffin slots
·      Combine flour, baking powder, salt in a large bowl
·      In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, butter, applesauce, and yogurt
·      Add the berries to the dry ingredient bowl and toss to combine
·      Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until combined.  Batter will be very thick
·      Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter among the muffin slots
·      Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Rotate the muffin tins halfway through for even baking.

Nutrition Facts (Per Muffin) Calories: 130/ Total Fat 2g/ Sodium: 183 mg/ Total Carb: 25g/ Sugars: 12g/ Protein: 3g

The Verdict...
I'm happy to say they came out really great!  Extremely tender, not too sweet, with bursts of berry-goodness.  I highly recommend eating at least one hot out of the oven.  Lyla went crazy for them too! 

Good to the last crumb!

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