Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Muffin Extravaganza!

What an eventful day! Threw an impromptu brunch party this morning as every restaurant in town was closed because of the hurricane. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and it was a good chance for me to put together some new recipes. I made a ton of mini muffins because they are tasty and simple to make. It was so easy to bake them ahead and just have them available for guests when they arrived. These took about 10 minutes to prep and then less than 15 to bake. Super quick and easy.

I have been wanting to bake with ricotta for a while, and this seemed like a good opportunity. The ricotta muffins are incredibly light and fluffy. As a bonus, the ricotta adds a lot of calcium and protein, giving it some nutritional heft. I also made raspberry almond muffins using frozen raspberries and some sliced almonds, both things I  had at hand. They were tasty and filling and had just the right amount of sweetness. Best of all, because I used heart healthy olive oil instead of butter, they were light and not greasy.

The secret to really light and crumbly muffins is not to over mix. I recommend using a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Resist the urge to stir. Since I was cooking for a crowd, I wasn't planning on blogging so I didn't take any step by step photos. If my instructions are unclear or don't work for you, shoot me an email and I'll explain.

Read more for the full recipes:

Raspberry Almond Muffins: makes 24 mini muffins
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup oat bran
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries, chopped
2/3 cup slivered or sliced raw almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Mix flours, oat bran and baking powder, set aside
3. Lightly beat the egg and add salt and sugar
4. Add olive oil, milk, vanilla and whisk together
5. With a spatula, slowly fold in dry ingredients, mixing until just combined
6. Carefully fold in almonds and raspberries
7. Using a tablespoon, spoon mixture into greased muffins pans
8. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean
9. Cool and serve

Lemon Ricotta Muffins: makes 24 mini muffins
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp grated lemon zest
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 olive oil
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp honey

1. Preheat oven t o375
2. Mix flours and baking powder, set aside
3. Combine egg, ricotta, milk, olive oil and honey
4. Whisk in sugar, lemon juice and zest
5. With a spatula, carefully fold in the dry ingredients until just combined
6. Using a tablespoon, spoon mixture into greased muffins pans
7. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean
8. Cool and serve

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Hello! Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. It means so much to me. Please let me know if you have questions about any of my recipes or if I forgot a step. Also, is there something you would like me to cook or a recipe to makeover? Let me know!

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