Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Tale of Two Muffins

We had a brunch party at our home today for mother's day (a day early). I made two types of muffins, and each was delicious in its own special way. Both are fairly healthy, as muffins go. And both involve beautiful fruit combinations that are perfect for spring.

My personal preference was for the banana-blueberry, which was incredibly flavorful and delicious, like blueberry-studded banana bread in a portable format. Completely gorgeous. But the strawberry-orange was nothing to ignore, with its slightly salty almond topping and the incredible moistness from the strawberries.

In short, both recipes are worth a try and therefore we have, for the first time, a twofer.

Muffin the First:

Banana-Blueberry Muffins
adapted from Everyday Food Magazine
makes 12+


1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp (I used Smart Balance)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup frozen blueberries


1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners. In a bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, baking soda and salt.

2. In a standing mixer with the paddle blade attachment (or in a large bowl with an electric mixer), beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. In another bowl, mash bananas and stir in milk and vanilla.

3. With mixer on low, alternate adding flour mixture and banana mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined, and gently stir in blueberries.

4. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick passes the doneness test, about 28 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then cool on a rack.

Muffin the Second:

Strawberry-Orange Muffins
adapted from Eating Well Magazine
makes 12


3 tablespoons dry roasted unsalted almonds
2 tablespoons plus 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup skim buttermilk
1/4 cup orange juice
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries


1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. In a food processor, process almonds, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon orange zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and stir to combine.

3. Whisk the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons orange zest and 1/4 cup oil in a medium bowl with buttermilk, orange juice, egg and vanilla until well combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; stir until just combined. Stir in strawberries.

4. Divide batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with the almond topping, gently pressing into the batter. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick passes the test, about 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then cool on a rack.

Go ahead and have a muffin party, it's fun! And these are some different twists on your typical muffin. Enjoy!

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