Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recipe Review: Raspberry-Cream Cheese Muffins

I've decided that muffins are for people who want to eat cake for breakfast and I certainly like cake.  These have jokingly been referred to as "life muffins," because some of my taste testers informed me they required them to live from that moment on.  They're even my most requested cupcake at work, despite the fact that they're actually muffins!

Pretty and tasty!
Recipe and commentary after the break.
Raspberry-Cream Cheese Muffins
Cooking Light, June 2003 Issue)

2/3 cup (5 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, egg whites, and egg; beat well.

3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk to cream cheese mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Gently fold in raspberries and walnuts.

4. Place 24 foil cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter evenly into liners. Bake at 350° 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 142 
Fat: 4.7g (sat 2.4g,mono 1.3g,poly 0.7g)
Protein: 2.7g
Carbohydrate: 22.6g
Fiber: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 19mg
Iron: 0.7mg
Sodium: 138mg
Calcium: 31mg

I absolutely detest walnuts so I omitted them from the recipe, in fact my hatred of walnuts should be noted. If there is ever a recipe that calls for walnuts, I will either omit them or make it and not eat the finished product.  I dislike them.  Greatly.

I've made these muffins several times, but I've never once been able to attain a yield of 24. I consistently achieve a yield of 18, and I've calculated that it only increases the calories by about 30, which is ultimately not a huge difference.  If someone can provide me with a method of portioning these out into 24 muffins that does not involve me getting batter all over the counter and pan, please let me know.

If you're not digging the idea of raspberries, you can always substitute equivalent amounts of another berry.  I've tried them with blackberries and they are still quite tasty.  I've even got future plans for this recipe, because I would love to see it turned into a blueberry-lemon muffin.

Even sans the walnuts, the recipe is truly a crowd pleaser. I highly recommend these to anyone who wishes to host a brunch.  Your guests will love them!