Apolinaras and I have a similar outlook on life and agree on all major issues that couples tend to fight over (family, money, politics, etc), but sparks always fly over desserts! I like to indulge in treats laden with butter and sugar since I don’t bake very often and feel like one real cookie satisfies my cravings more than several more healthy imitators. Apolinaras, on the other hand, is a health nut and is always trying to convince me to lighten things up. Unfortunately, this means I usually end up baking something only one of us actually enjoys. This needs to change! So, I decided to challenge myself this weekend and see if I could whip up a batch of muffins that weren’t completely bad for you that I would actually still gobble up with a smile.
I had a bunch of golden raisins left after making a Moroccan Beef Meatball Tagine from a recent issue of Bon Appetit, so I decided to center my muffins around them. Although applesauce is commonly added to low fat baked goods to keep them moist, I didn’t want to buy a jar just for one recipe, so I decided to puree a pear instead. In addition, I reduced the amount of sugar I normally use, used low fat sour cream and white whole wheat flour, and topped the muffins with an almond meal crumble topping. These muffins tasted like coffee cake AND Apolinaras wasn’t completely disgusted by the nutritional profile – problem solved! Well, for muffins at least…
Golden Raisin Almond Crumble Muffins
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup almond meal
1 medium Barlett Pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped golden raisins
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cups. To make the crumble topping, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, and almond meal in a small bowl.
To make the muffins, pulse pears and sour cream in a food processor until smooth (I had 1 cup of liquid after pulsing); place in a large bowl and stir in butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in golden raisins.
Scoop muffin batter evenly into the 12 prepared muffin cups. Top muffins evenly with the crumble topping. Bake at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.
Nutrition: 260 calories, 14.2g fat, 2.2g fiber, 3.3g protein per serving
Cost: $0.34 per serving