November 15, 2007

Muffins

I'm pretty sure I promised to post this recipe at least a year ago, and I'm pretty sure I never did (loser.) So here it is at last: the no-fat, no-cholesterol muffins. They are best served fresh from the oven!

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Sift together:
2 c flour
2 t cream of tartar
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon

In a separate bowl, mix together:
1 c yogurt cheese
2/3 c granulated sugar
2/3 c applesauce
1 t vanilla extract

Have prepared:
1 to 2 c fruit

Time is of the essence for this next bit! Soothe the baby. Feed the cat. Change the channel. Check your stocks. Then:

Add wet mix to dry. Mix as gently and as quickly as possible. When it's about half mixed, throw in the fruit and finish the mixing. The dough will not be remotely runny, but somewhat the consistency of heavily whipped cream.

Cook in a cooking-spray sprayed muffin tin for 18-20 minutes. Makes 12 standard sized muffins.

Yum!

We generally (okay, always) use about a cup of blueberries for the fruit. When I'm in the mood, I add a banana, which makes them very sweet and very moist.

Notes: Muffins are not mysterious. If you follow a few rules, you can alter the recipe from here to kingdom come, as they say. The rules are:

1. Thou shalt honor the ratio of wet to dry ingredients. You can use any kinds of flours, sugars, fruits alone or in combination, or leave out the fruit, or put something else in its place (cheese? shrimp? tuna? italian sausage? Oh, that sounds good, though not fat-free!), other spices (or herbs, and make savory muffins!), as long as you have the same amount of dry stuff, and wet stuff.

2. Thou shalt include something acidic (in this case, yogurt). If thou shouldst forget this rule, you ain't gonna get *any* rise out of these muffins. The soda needs something to react with (remember those vinegar and baking soda experiments? Vinegar is...acidic.) Yogurt is not a very heavy-duty acid, so this recipe doesn't rise much as it is....but they're pretty lofty to start with, so it's not an issue. You can use just plain yogurt if you don't have time to cheese it, or even milk will work, though the resulting texture is not as grand.

3. Thou shalt neither beat the dough unto submission, nor shalt you shilly-shally once the wet meets the dry. Again, this is partly out of deference to the baking soda. If it spends its time getting and spending all of its rise before the stuff has heat, the muffins aren't as soft and tend to fall a bit once they're cooked. The other part--not beating it too vigorously--is to avoid too much activated gluten. Unless you like chewy, yeast-bread-like muffins. I don't.

4. Thou shalt not try to make a double batch. Trust me. I've tried. It is basically impossible to follow rule number 3 with a double batch, and whenever I convince myself otherwise, I end up with chewy, slightly flattened muffins. Just give up and prepare it twice (I suppose you could mix double the dry, and double the wet, then mix half of each together at once. As long as you were quick. But don't try it all in the same bowl at the same time!)

1 comment:

Tami said...

I always follow those same rules! LOL! I love muffins with (sugar free) soymilk and applesauce as the wet ingredients, YUM. I am going to try your yogurt cheese version, it sounds delish.