Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tuscan Lemon Yogurt Muffins

At what point does a muffin become a cupcake or vice versa? I suppose it's one of those questions the cupcake fiends probably find more intriguing than the rest of us. I generally think of muffins as heavier and usually "chewier" than cupcakes. They also aren't frosted. Other than that, there's not a lot of difference except to the tragically trendy among us.

So, is this really a muffin or a quasi-cupcake? Honestly, you could slap some buttercream on it and call it a cupcake and no one would be the wiser. It is closet probably to an Italian Olive Oil cake batter (Pissota con l'Oio) with its delicate flavors and textures. Regardless, it's darn good! The original version of this recipe was featured in Cooking Light but I decided to mess with it a little bit, mainly because I loathe the look, flavor and texture of the Ricotta cheese they called for in the recipe. I originally thought of substituting cream cheese, then decided I wanted something a little lighter to keep down the calorie content so thought about a light sour cream. I finally decided to try a lemon flavored yogurt and it was a good decision! The lemon yogurt keeps down calories and fat while giving a lovely tang and lemon flavor. Combined with the oils of lemon zest, this a real lemon treat and a must try.

Lady Snow is on injured reserved with a busted ACL.
In other notes, posting may be slowing down in the coming few weeks due to family issues. The Lady Snow decided that she would attempt to fly while at the dog park yesterday evening. She learned a new trick where she jumps up on the picnic tables they have (which are very slick - NOT a good move park people). While showing off her new trick she decided to chase another dog and flew skidding off the table. Long story short - she tore her Cranial Cruciate Ligament (ACL in humans) and we spent the evening in the emergency room of the vet clinic. So, she'll be needing a surgery (an expensive surgery) in the coming weeks. With her out of commission, I'm having to limit my kitchen time somewhat to care for her and keep her out of trouble when the pain meds kick in and she wants to do things she shouldn't! Apologies, and hopefully, we'll be back to a normal schedule shortly. Please bear with us.

: Tuscan Lemon Yogurt Muffins
: Yogurt and Olive Oil cuts the fat and calories in these delicious morning pick-me-ups!

  • 7.9 oz. unbleached all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz.) lemon flavored yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs. grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs. lemon flavoring (optional)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbs. Turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in mixing bowl and whisk together. Form a well in center of dry ingredients.
  3. Mix together yogurt, water, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon flavoring (optional), and beaten egg. Stir together and place in center well of dry ingredients.
  4. Using a rubber spatula mix together batter just until wet and no dry mixture remains.
  5. Place muffin liners in muffin pan (a large pan works best for this recipe) and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among cups - filling each to about 3/4 full. Sprinkle Turbinado sugar over the tops of the batter and place in oven. For large muffins bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and muffins are just beginning to brown. For small muffins bake 14-16 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and tops are just browning.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool in tins for 5 minutes on wire rack. Remove from tins and allow to cool completely on wire rack.
Yoplait® Lemon Yogurt works nicely in this recipe.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
Meal type: breakfast
Culinary tradition: USA (General)

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