Category Archives: muffins

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Muffins

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lisa! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

I’m having a love hate relationship with these muffins. My favorite muffin forever has been blueberry. So of course, I decided to make blueberry muffins for this challenge, but work towards developing my own. I started with this recipe from King Arthur Flour. I modified it quite a bit before actually making the original recipe. Not always the best idea, but well, I was in a hurry. At first I hated them and almost threw them all in the garbage. After sitting, however, I liked them again.

I think the issue is that these are slightly healthier muffins. Not a health food, but healthier than say, a Starbucks muffin. There isn’t much fat, not much sugar, and flax for that I-feel-less-guilty-when-eating-these. I’m trying to add more flax to our baked goods, since it has so many health benefits, particularly all those Omega-3s. But when eating a muffin, most of the time we expect it to be sweet. These aren’t overly sweet, so once I got past that, I really liked them. My taste buds just needed a moment to adjust. I didn’t particularly care for the whole flax seeds, but the flax meal was not noticeable.

All that being said, these are a work in progress. But for now, they are a decent muffin, quite good with coffee. I used Meyer lemons since they are in season but traditional lemons will work fine. I’m posting two recipes: one with the healthier additions (which is the one I made) and the less healthier muffin for those days when you just need a muffin.

Lemon Blueberry Flax Muffins

Yield: 12 to 15 muffins

Time: Less than one hour including bake time

Difficulty: Very Easy

One Year Ago: Leaning Tower of Red Velvet

Modified from King Arthur Flour

  • 2 Cups AP Flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 TB butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 TB lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta (or 3/4 cup milk)
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • Sanding (coarse) sugar for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a muffin pan with papers or grease.

2. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, flax, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Cream together the butter, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add the ricotta, mix until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix untilalmostcombined. The key to tender muffins is to not over mix!

5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the blueberries. Continue folding gently if needed until all flour is mixed in.

6. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full, sprinkle with sugar,  and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely – they taste better after sitting for a while.

Lemon Blueberry Less Healthy Version

  • 2 Cups AP Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 TB butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 TB lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta (or 3/4 cup milk)
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • Sanding (coarse) sugar for sprinkling

Follow the same instructions as above.

Enjoy with coffee!

 

 

 

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins

What can I say, I’m in an apple mood. It’s that time of year, after all. My mother-in-law brought us some apples from Virginia and apple muffins sounded like the perfect treat to make. Muffins are tricky. They seem like a no-brainer. However, if you aren’t careful, the muffin will turn out dry. That’s not what I want in a muffin. I found a recipe that met my expectations from The Girl Who Ate Everything. She has a super cute blog, and the comments on this recipe were great. I’m always hesitant to try a recipe that doesn’t have reviews (guess most of you are hesitant to try my recipes, eh?).

The recipe didn’t fail. They turned out so fantastic. They were moist on the inside with a crunchy outside. I only changed two small things (well, three, really), but I think they would have turned out great even if I hadn’t changed these.  And since we are close to Halloween, I was able to use cute muffin liners! It’s the small things that make me happy. Enjoy these – you won’t regret making them.

The changes I made were based on personal preference. First, I love cinnamon so I doubled the amount to 2 teaspoons. Second, I used 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw). I think this change is what made these muffins so delectable. Usually when I bake with turbinado sugar (and I often do) I will put the sugar in a food processor to make it finer. I didn’t do that here and it added a wonderful hint of crunch. Also, it almost made the apples candy like. So delish. And, since I was on a turbinado kick, I used that for the topping instead of brown sugar, although next time (and there will be a next time) I will use brown sugar to compare. I love brown sugar, so I’m sure it will be great.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins, modified from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare two muffin pans with either muffin liners or sprayed with cooking spray. Makes about 24 muffins. My batch made 23!

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar + more for topping
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 TB vanilla
  • 3 cups small diced apples

1. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. With a handheld mixer or stand mixer, cream the oil, sugars, and vanilla until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well combined.

3. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined – don’t overmix! Lumps are good! Gently fold in the apples. Using a scoop (this was the first time I was able to use my new scoop! It’s the perfect size, 4 TB. Remember, the small things!), fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full. Sprinkle with sugar.

4) Bake until golden, about 25 minutes, depending on your oven. Let cool slightly.

Dig in!

 

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