Friday, March 26, 2010

Panda's Breakfast Muffins

The person I share my abode with adores breakfast muffins, scones, granola, and the like. To be a good cohabitator (and win brownie points for him at his office), I often make these little gems. My breakfast muffin recipe came about after a summer of fiddling with various morning muffin recipes and finally discovering the right blend of ingredients. Some recipes call for too much sugar or too much dairy for my liking. However, these stellar babies emerged from the flames of their predecessors and win smiles quite frequently.

Note - they are kinda healthy. Yep. I know. You were hoping for something a little more naughty maybe? Alas while they taste like little fattening muffin treats, they in fact are low-fat, low-sugar in comparison to other breakfast muffins. So feel free to lather them up with your favorite natural spread! Enjoy!

Panda's Breakfast Muffins

3/4 Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 White Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 cup White Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1/3 cup Applesauce
1/3 cup Milk (non-dairy is my choice)
1/2 cup Blueberries (frozen or freshly washed)
1/2 cup Raspberries (frozen or freshly washed)
1/2 cup Chopped Nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper muffin cups or grease the pan by hand.

In a medium sized bowl, add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and sift.

In a mixing bowl or with a mixer, add the sugars, vanilla extract, and egg and blend. Note, I sometimes add a splash of almond extract as well (say 1/2 a teaspoon or less). Add the milk of your choice (usually rice in my case) to the batter and mix.

Next add the applesauce and gently blend. If you prefer, you can use one of the flavored applesauces (such as cinnamon) to enhance the flavor.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients until well mixed. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl down from time to time. If using nuts, mix these into the batter.

Next gently fold in the berries (by hand works best so as not to crush or burst the berries).

Fill each muffin cup 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full. Typically, this recipe yields about 10 average muffins. They are also great as mini-muffins too.

As a final touch, I dust the tops of all the uncooked muffins with a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a few nuts if I haven't used them in the batter.

Cook for about 15-20 minutes (watch them during the final 5 minutes depending upon your oven) until the muffins are set. Note - I have occasionally had to cook these to 25 minutes if the oven was off or the berries extremely ripe as well as cook them slower at 350. Leave them in the pan for about 2 minutes to start cooling, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish the process. You can also modify this recipe into a breakfast bread!

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