Oh how I wish you could smell my apartment right now. I’m in blueberry muffin heaven. I’m also very amused with the old pan that used to belong to my grandmother: The Muffinaire. According to the seal on the top, it was made by the United Aircraft Products Company in Dayton, Ohio. I love the WWII era flavor of this pan, and I would love to know about all of the things that have been baked in it over its long life. Pardon me for my sentimental reminiscing. I love old kitchen things.
As I mentioned yesterday, I bought a large container of blueberries this weekend. While writing yesterday’s post, I remembered a muffin recipe from Cooking Light that I used to make all the time. Cooking Light recipes were perfect for me back when I was only concerned with counting fat grams. Now that I’ve switched to Weight Watchers, some of their recipes can be a bit higher in points than I would like. No worries! I still love Cooking Light, but now I use my recipe builder to play around with the recipes a bit and make them fit what I’m looking for as far as points go. Sometimes, this just means dividing the dish into smaller servings. Other times, like today, it also involves tweaking the ingredients a bit.
The original recipe is certainly not unhealthy as it is. I love muffins, but they don’t typically keep me full for very long. For that reason, I’m not usually willing to spend more than about 2 points on a muffin. I decided to see what I could do with the recipe to make it fit my criteria, and it was pretty easy to get them down to 2 points each with only a few changes. I’m going to provide the recipe below and add my substitutions in parentheses. If you follow the original, you can make 12 for 3 points each or 16 for 2 points each. If you use all of my substitutions, you can make 12 for 3 points each or 14 for 2 points each. The difference is small, but I’d rather have 14 slightly bigger muffins than 16 slightly smaller ones for my valuable points. This is all unofficial, of course.
Cooking Light Blueberry-Yogurt Muffins
From the Complete Cooking Light Cookbook, p. 67
2 cups all-purpose flour (I substituted 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) carton vanilla low-fat yogurt (I substituted one 6 ounce container of Weight Watchers nonfat vanilla yogurt)
1 large egg, lightly beaten (I substituted 1/4 cup egg beaters)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
1 Tbsp. sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine orange juice, oil, vanilla, yogurt and egg; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moist. Gently fold in blueberries.
3. Spoon batter into muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over muffins. Bake muffins at 400 degrees for 18 minutes (it took about 15 minutes for my 14 muffin version) or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pans immediately, and place muffins on a wire rack. Yield: 12 originally, but see the paragraph above… it is up to you! Serving size: 1 muffin
I love muffins when I’m in the mood to bake, but not in the mood to make anything fancy. Isn’t baking fun? I think it is one of my favorite things to do. Anyway, I’ve been making muffins and other quick breads forever, and I’ve learned a few things. First, it is important to mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients together in another before you allow them to meet. Otherwise, the results will not be pretty.
Second, you don’t want to overmix the batter so, when you add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, just mix it until everything is moistened. Too much stirring will result in a tough muffin. Third, when you fold berries into any sort of batter, it is really important to be gentle. If you break them with overly aggressive stirring, you will end up with a funky colored batter and less whole berries in your finished product.
One new thing I did for this recipe was to divide my sprinkling sugar in half in order to do a more even job of distributing it. I sprinkled half of the uncooked muffins with half of the sugar and then did the other half.
Finally, regardless of the cooking time given in a recipe, I always check my muffins when it is about five minutes from the time they are supposed to be done. Every oven is different. If you press lightly on the top and the muffin springs back, it is done. I’ve never been a believer in the toothpick test.
The berries are thick and jammy, the sugar on top is like a crispy little treat, the orange juice gives it a hint of sunshine, my apartment smells like a bakery, and I can have all of this indulgence for only two points! As you know, I like to have dessert every night. I think that one of these and a little glass of skim milk will be just the thing for my sweet tooth this evening. Don’t worry that I have too many. Muffins, individually wrapped in plastic wrap, freeze quite well so a few of these are probably destined to enjoy a little winter vacation before they actually make it to my plate. I don’t mind having a big batch of these muffins. I don’t mind one bit!
I’m always looking for low point muffin recipes since baked goods are really my weakness. Do you have a favorite? I’d love to hear about it!!