Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Golden Raisin Almond Crumble Muffins

Brunch Dishes

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
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Crumble Topping:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup almond meal

Muffins:
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

Directions:
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

Pumpkin Beer Bread

We’ve been all about beer lately. Apolinaras has recently gotten into home brewing and just proudly sealed 40 bottles of Oak-Aged Baltic Porter last night. It's supposed to age for at least a month before it’s really ready, but I snuck a couple sips of the green stuff...

Apple Coffee Layer Cake

I’ve often wondered why I’ve never seen a layered coffee cake. It just seems like stacking coffee cakes on top of each other would make the presentation so much more festive! I recently couldn’t help but try out this idea when I was baking a birthday treat for us to...

Apple Spiral Chai Coffee Cake

I was super excited when my friend Shannon organized an apple picking field trip the other weekend to Smolak Farms! Not only would I get to check out a local orchard for the first time, I also would get to meet several of my favorite fellow Boston food bloggers,...

Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto, and Sage Quiche

I secretly enjoy checking out wedding registries and seeing what makes couples tick. Are they more excited about the monogrammed towels and fine china or the obscure kitchen gadgets and fancy knife sets? I’m sure you can guess which category we fell into! I was...

Mascarpone Stuffed Cornbread French Toast

My favorite dinner to make when I’m cooking dinner for one is breakfast. Apolinaras isn’t a huge fan, so I always jump at the chance to whip up a broccoli cheddar omelet, turkey bacon, and whole wheat toast with jam when he’s out of town or at one of his late night...

Cornmeal Pancakes with Corn, Bacon, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

I’ve mentioned before that my mom teaches a high school culinary arts program. Her students have a few big national competitions coming up this summer, where they will be vying for scholarships to culinary school, and they recently held a really cool fundraiser at BOS...

Crispy Pecan Chicken and Sweet Potato Biscuit Sandwiches

I have a thing for biscuits. The love affair started when I was growing up and always used to gobble them up at KFC and McDonald’s (actually, McDonald’s breakfast biscuit sandwiches are still one of my guilty pleasures when we’re travelling!). I also have fond...

Nutella Gingerbread Scones

We currently have a bunch of cookies in our snack drawer at work, and lately I’ve been reaching first for the gingersnaps dipped in chocolate. They are just so good! Then the other day I had a light bulb moment - you know what would be even better? Gingersnaps topped...