Posts tagged greek yogurt
Posts tagged greek yogurt
These muffins. These muffins! The fact that they are so healthy and good for you makes no sense with how delicious they taste. And I took a risk with these, changing the recipe mid-process, on a whim. A crazy, carrot- bran whim! I never knew there was such a thing.
Once the carrots were grated, the rest was a breeze. Grating carrots sure is messy, though.
There were little pieces of carrot everywhere.
Once that was done, I got the dry ingredients together: whole wheat white flour, wheat bran, brown sugar, cinnamon (I used two teaspoons), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I threw in a little nutmeg too, maybe about a quarter teaspoon or so. I whisked
Then, as is traditional in muffin-making, I used a separate bowl for the liquid ingredients. Eggs, buttermilk, yogurt, molasses, and canola oil. The recipe called for half a cup of canola oil but I decided that a quarter cup was as much as I was willing to put in. So after I’d added in the quarter cup of Greek yogurt specified, I threw some more in to make up for the missing oil. It was close to a quarter cup, but not a full one. The formula for swapping out oil is not as straightforward as butter, so I had to wing it a little.
That looked pretty revolting until I whisked it all together.
I poured that into the flour mixture. (By the way, I read in some article about recipes that you’re not supposed to call it “the flour mixture” just because its dominant ingredient is flour. You’re supposed to call it “the dry ingredients”. Blah blah. I’ll call it what I like. I much prefer George Carlin’s irritation with the term “pre-heating”, which I have stopped using because he was hilariously correct.)
Once those were well incorporated (but not overmixed! oh no!) I folded in the carrots.
I scooped the batter into muffins cups and sprinkled just a bit of turbinado sugar on top, because it’s sparkly and tastes good.
While they were in the oven, I wandered into the playroom and found this interesting Lego creation. Nathaniel says it’s a garbage tower. I think. It lives in outer space.
I baked for about 20 minutes. I think. It has been days since I made these now so I don’t remember, but it was in the 20-25 minutes range. They looked and smelled great, emerging from the oven with nice big puffy tops. The muffin cups were a gift from my friend Jana, and they made the muffins look even nicer.
And they looked even prettier by the window.
Best of all, they taste fantastic. Texture is ideal, moist and as fluffy as a muffin can be that’s full of bran and carrots. Flavors are strong, spiced and sweet. You feel better for having eaten one, I swear. (Sometimes you feel better for having eaten two.)
The next time I made them I threw in some pumpkin pie spice, which added a nice punch to the flavor.
CARROT BRAN MUFFINS RECIPE (original)
My version of Carrot Bran Muffins (adapted from Ingredients, Inc.)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. You’ll reduce the temperature later when you put the muffins in. Prepare a 12-muffin pan with spray or liners.
Combine the flour, wheat bran, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, yogurt, oil, and molasses.
Add the second bowl to the first and mix just enough to incorporate. Fold in the carrots.
Spoon batter into muffin cups and sprinkle a little turbinado sugar on top of each one.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool in the pan for 5, then remove.
Eat as many as you like. They’re good for you!
Now they’re not crazily low fat or anything, but they’re not anywhere near as decadent as they taste, and the flavor combination in these muffins is absolutely exquisite. Semi-sweet chocolate, turbinado sugar, espresso powder, and a hint of orange come together to create some sort of flavor perfection that seems to come out of a dream. I mean it. And the texture? Exactly what you want in a muffin, fluffy but filling.
The strange thing about this recipe is that it claimed to yield 24 muffins. I actually asked the blogger if she meant mini muffins, and she said, no, full size. But I knew just from looking at it that it wasn’t going to make more than 12.
Dry ingredients went first: whole wheat white flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Whisking ensued.
In a separate bowl, I creamed together the sugar and Greek yogurt. I used slightly less sugar than the recipe called for, and could probably go a little lower the next time without noticing a difference. It’s a sugar-heavy recipe, though, asking for a full cup.
I was pleased by how easily they combined.
I added the oil (canola instead of vegetable) and then beat in the eggs one at a time.
Once that was mixed well, I moved the bowl to the stand mixer. Then I poured in just less than half the flour mixture and mixed on low/medium speed.
Once incorporated, I added the rest of the flour and mixed again, until I couldn’t see any more flour in the batter.
I folded in the orange zest and the chocolate chips. I improvised a little on this one, using just over half a tablespoon of zest and semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate. I only put in about 3/4 of a cup.
See how good that looks? That’s just how it tasted.
I poured the batter out into muffin cups and topped each one with turbinado sugar. (And yes, I was right about it only making 12. The person whose recipe it is has since made the correction on her site.)
They were done in about 20 minutes, I think. They looked and smelled glorious.
I will definitely make these again despite the whopping 6 P+. Every bite gives you just enough chocolate, a tiny whisper (just enough) of orange, a crackle of sugar on top, and then leaves you with a lovely little coffee aftertaste to finish it off. It’s a complex muffin that comes together absolutely perfectly. Bakeaholic Mama, I salute you.
My version of Greek Yogurt and Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins (adapted from Bakeaholic Mama)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon espresso powder
1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/2 - 3/4 tablespoon of orange zest
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon raw sugar (for topping)
Heat oven to 375. You will reduce the temperature later.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.
In a bowl that will fit in a stand mixer (unless you plan to use a hand mixer instead), cream together the sugar and yogurt with a spatula. Add in the oil, then the eggs one at a time, mixing after each one.
Using your mixer, add in the flour one cup at a time and beat on slow to medium speed, just until incorporated.
Fold in the chocolate chips and orange zest.
Distribute evenly among 12 muffin cups and top with turbinado sugar. Reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for 20-30 minutes, it will really depend on your oven. When a toothpick comes out clean, they are ready.
Apple Cider Mini Muffins (and big ones too)
These are incredible.
You know when you go apple picking and they sell these crazy apple cider donuts that you can’t stop eating? Well this is the home version. There’s no frying with these, and the ingredients are shockingly NOT unhealthy, but more important than that on this special day is that they are over-the-top mouthwateringly delicious and everyone in house agrees, including Queen Fussypants herself, Juliet.
And today’s special day? It’s Jeff’s birthday. Jeff is one of my brothers, and today is his birthday, and he deserves something special. So while his family is celebrating him, I am honoring him with these unbearably delicious mini muffins. We’ll have to continue to honor him by eating them, since he lives about 10 hours away by car, and won’t be showing up to claim them anytime soon.
So on to the recipe! I gathered up the ingredients, and took pictures of them, and because I always leave one thing out of my ingredient pictures by accident, I didn’t include an egg. At least it made it into the recipe, unlike the sugar that never went into the ill-fated cheesecake. (Can you tell I am still haunted by that?)
Just pretend there’s an egg there.
I started with dry ingredients: whole wheat white flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. It said to use two teaspoons of cinnamon; my teaspoons were extremely generous. I whisked.
Then I got out another bowl for the strange concoction I was about to create.
I put in the egg and the brown sugar. Then it was time for apple butter. Oddly enough, I already had some on hand, I’d picked it up at Trader Joe’s for a different recipe that I still haven’t had a chance to make. I poured it in.
Then vanilla, and after that, honey.
Then the apple cider, the only ingredient I had to go to the store for.
After that it was yogurt (Greek, 2%, since I just bought some yesterday) and a little bit o’ canola oil. Using yogurt in baking is rarely pretty.
But whisking usually turns things around. At least in baking.
Better, right? I thought so. I poured it into the flour mixture.
Once combined, I spooned it into my mini muffin tray. The recipe said it would make 24, but when I looked at the photos on it I realized that the author has a much bigger tray than mine. I had a lot left over after creating this:
I popped them into the oven, set the timer for 10 minutes, and made the cinnamon sugar. I decided to skip the butter, as I so often do, usually with good results.
Then I took the remaining butter and made regular size muffins out of it. I got exactly six, and sprinkled the cinnamon sugar on top.
When the mini muffins were ready, I took them out. The larger ones caved in a bit in the middle, but I decided I sort of liked that effect. It made them a little bit donut-like, and since they really descended from donuts in the evolutionary chain, it seemed appropriate.
I forgot to take a picture until I’d already removed the first couple and rolled them in cinnamon sugar, so a few are missing.
Here’s the first set that I rolled in the cinnamon sugar.
Once I’d done a bunch of them, I called the kids in.
Nathaniel wasn’t ready to eat, having just consumed a granola bar, and you can’t really order your child to consume a donut-style-mini-muffin if he’s full of granola bar. It just feels like a bad parental choice. But Juliet, usually reluctant to dig into anything new, happily picked one up. Then she showed me just how happy it made her once she’d crammed the whole thing into her mouth.
She loved them! She ate three of them!
The big ones were ready a few minutes later. They turned out great.
And there you have it. Dave came home a little while later and he and Nathaniel dug in with joy. The three of them went out to the Grange Fair today, so they took a bunch of the mini muffins with them. I am staying home for some much-needed down time, fun as the fair can be. My plans include more baking, impromptu napping, and very loud music. And maybe just one more mini muffin.
French Yogurt Cake
I wasn’t going to bake tonight, I thought I needed a break, but then I decided it might be fun to make something new and then watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. We have a friend of the family competing tomorrow. Go Nicole! And even though I’m not watching them live, I recorded it all and I’m having fun watching the insane, over-the-top show in London. So why not make a French Yogurt Cake? With a lot more lemon than the recipe suggests? Go haywire!
First things first, I zested the lemons. The recipe called for a tablespoon of zest, but I just took all the lemons I had on hand — which turned out to be three — and used ‘em all.
That done, I whisked together the flour (used all purpose, not wanting to weigh this cake down), baking powder, and kosher salt.
In a separate bowl, I added the lemon zest to a cup of sugar and mixed it with my fingers until the two ingredients became one.
To that I added Greek yogurt (I didn’t have the whole milk kind, just Fage 2%), canola oil, two eggs, and vanilla.
It looked a lot better after I whisked it together.
I folded in the flour.
I poured it into a loaf pan, and then, for no reason at all, I picked up one of the zested lemons, poked out the seeds, and squeezed some juice all over the top, then lightly sprinkled some demerara sugar on across it. I just made that part up.
The recipe said to bake it for 50-55 minutes, but I set the timer for 40 and then enjoyed the wonderful lemony smell that filled up the kitchen while I cleaned up. At 40 it was done, and when I took it out of the oven I was very happy with the results of my improvisation. It looked so good!
I let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then took it out and left it to cool completely, despite a hovering Dave who was anxious to try it. It was easy to stall him by explaining that increased deliciousness is the reward of those who wait. (Fresh baked goods are wonderful but you don’t want the temperature to overpower the flavor.)
Finally it was ready. Warm but not hot. I sliced it open.
It lived up to the smell.
It was wonderful.
It’s a little too wonderful for me, unfortunately, not being a Weight Watchers sort of lemon loaf, but that’s okay. Truth is, the flavor is perfect and the texture is nice but a BIT heavy or dense, so I think less oil and more yogurt would benefit everybody. I’m glad I put in the extra lemon because it has a wonderful intense flavor, and I’m convinced the reason it doesn’t get tart is that step of mixing the sugar and the lemon zest together with your fingers.
And now as I finish writing this, it’s morning, and the kids have already devoured pieces of it and asked for seconds. (Yes, even Juliet!) I’ve been baking for Read It All Up® all week, so it’s been a while since I made something that Dave & the kids can all get excited about. Mission accomplished.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins and other baked goods
It’s Mother’s Day, so I’m allowed to bake as much as I want, right?
Last night I made the carrot oatmeal muffins again as well as the low-fat gingerbread, and then started off today with mini pancake maple muffins. Once I got those cleaned up, I whipped up some more lemon poppy seed sugar cookies. For some reason that wasn’t enough, and I looked through my Pinterest board to see what else I could sink my baking teeth into. I settled on Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins, since they were made with Greek yogurt and involved peanut butter.
I started by creaming together the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar.
Then I threw in the eggs — and I always seem to spill a little on the outside of the bowl — along with with yogurt.
Once mixed, it started to look pretty good.
Then I mixed the dry ingredients which, oddly, only included flour (whole wheat white) and baking soda. No baking powder, no salt. Once mixed, I added it into the first mixture, and combined. In the middle of that, I heard a call from the living room, where Juliet was happily ensconced watching Phineas and Ferb. “Mommy, commercial! And can you button me?”
I fast-forwarded past the commercial, buttoned the button, and went back to the kitchen.
I was supposed to add the chocolate chips at that point, but Juliet won’t eat things with chocolate chips in them, so I took some of the batter and scooped it into the mini muffin cups first.
And then, since I was making mini muffins, I used mini chips in the rest of the batter.
The recipe said it would yield 50 mini muffins, but I didn’t get anywhere near that. I filled my 24-muffin tray, and when that was done, I got about another 15 more.
Mine were done at ten minutes, and they looked pretty good.
That said, I think they really need more flavor. It’s really about the peanut butter, I think there isn’t enough of that flavor in it, and I worry that adding more would change up the texture. I’m not sure. I’d like to give it another try, maybe I should add more peanut butter and reduce the yogurt to even things out. They’re not bad, they’re just not…enough.