Last weekend I was craving something other than my usual granola parfait for breakfast. I've been extremely lax on watching what I eat lately, so I wanted to make something a little on the lighter side. I looked in the Light Baking section of one of my favorite books, The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book, and found a recipe for blueberry muffins. What a great recipe! The muffins are chockful of blueberries. They're so moist and light. You'd never guess they are low-fat! I especially love them because they aren't so sweet that you think you're eating cake. They were sooo good when they were warm from the oven, and the next day they tasted like a whole other muffin. I love a recipe that does that! This is going to be my go-to recipe for blueberry muffins from now on. How many low-fat recipes are good enough to be go-to's?? Bravo, America's Test Kitchen! You definitely deserve a pat on the back for this one!
LIGHT BLUEBERRY MUFFINS (from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book)
MAKES 12 (I got 8 when I halved the recipe)
Vegetable oil spray
2 cups (10 oz) plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup (4 oz) cake flour
1 cup (7 oz) sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling (I used coarse sugar for sprinkling)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons fresh lemon Juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt (Use low-fat yogurt here; nonfat yogurt will make dry, tasteless muffins)
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (ATK prefers frozen wild blueberries)
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray.
2. Whisk 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, cake flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat 3/4 cup more sugar and butter together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla until incorporated, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.
3. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Beat in one-third of the flour mixture and half of the yogurt. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and the remaining yogurt. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated. Do not overmix.
4. Toss the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of all-purpose flour, then gently fold them into the batter with a rubber spatula. Using a 1/3-cup measuring cup sprayed with vegetable oil spray, portion the batter into each muffin cup, then portion any remaining batter evenly among the cups using a small spoon (My cups were almost completely full). Sprinkle the tops with the remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
5. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
(I halved the recipe expecting to get 6, but I got 8. Therefore, the nutrition facts are a little higher than what my muffins would actually be.)
PER MUFFIN: Cal 250; Fat 5 g; Sat fat 3 g; Chol 45 mg; Carb 45 g; Protein 6 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 270 mg
"We wanted to drastically reduce the amount of butter in our muffins down to just 3 or 4 tablespoons-but we didn't want them to be dry and dense. The solution turned out to be twofold. First, we creamed a portion of the sugar with the butter, which made the muffins light and airy. Second, we substituted cake flour for some of the all-purpose flour to give the muffins a fine-textured, delicate crumb." -THE AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN FAMILY BAKING BOOK