Saturday, May 22, 2010

Strawberry Muffins go Country

It has been a quiet month. That is to say, there has been so much going on that I haven't been able to face sitting down and writing. There has been many an ice cream sundae necessary, and much take out involved. Strangely enough, this is also the month that I decided starting Weight Watchers might be a good idea. We'll see how that one goes.

In the meanwhile, today is Niska Day - our local community celebration of the anniversary of the town's founding. Friends are coming over to watch the parade with us, and Naomi and Dave will be marching in it with her new nursery school. The theme is "Niska Day goes country" (a heck of a title for a democratic suburb in Upstate New York), so my little girl is dressed up in a summer dress with pigtails and a cowboy hat. I am sending them off to represent well supplied with muffins.

I am proud of my progress with baking. I decided I was going to learn how to bake while pregnant with Dina (now 6 months old), and this is the first time I've really felt willing to make a slight variation. I'm not always the best at trusting a recipe over an instinct, and that is simply a requirement of baking. With 'cooking', you can do as you will with few consequences. Baking, if you're not careful, will result in salty, flat, under seasoned, under mixed, over mixed, rock like, goopy results.

Not so with these strawberry muffins. They are AWESOME.

The key ingredient was Chobani Strawberry Yogurt. It gave flavor without adding too much sweetness, and the tangy yogurt really makes for a moist muffin without added fat. The key with these, as with all muffins, is to not over mix. Alton Brown always says not to stir your muffins more than 15 times total. This recipe folds in the ingredients for that reason. Don't let your gluten in! So, here goes:

Strawberry Muffins
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen's Family Baking Book
Makes 12 muffins

2 cups white all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat all purpose flour
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups Chobani Strawberry Yogurt (if using a different yogurt, check sweetness level)
2 eggs
1 stick of butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries plus 1 T flour

Move your oven rack to the middle position. Preheat your oven to 375. Grease your muffin pan.

Melt your butter.

Combine your yogurt and eggs.

Chop your strawberries and toss with 1 T of flour to coat.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold in yogurt and egg mixture.

Add strawberries and cooled butter. Fold in.

Portion out mixture 1/3 cup at a time into muffin tin. Place in oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the cooking time. When completed, allow to cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes, then remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

They make for AMAZING strawberry shortcake. Let me know how they turn out!

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