Glazed lemon olive oil muffins: tart, sweet, addictive

Lemon olive oil muffins


Though I was never much of a breakfast eater until I joined Weight Watchers (and came to understand the morning meal really is important), I’ve always been a fan of the humble muffin. And, you know, baked goods in general, but especially before work . . . when I’m hungry and really need a boost.

Like so many, I’ve been working to integrate healthier versions of favorite foods into our diet. Typical muffins and pastries are too much of a splurge for yours truly, but I love scouring the Internet for tasty, lower-calorie baked goods so I can continue bumbling around in the kitchen and make my husband super glad he married me.

Enter Nosh My Way’s Lemon-scented Olive Oil Muffins, a dense and almost cake-like treat that can operate as both dessert and/or coffee accompaniment. With a fresh citrus punch in the batter and the glaze, these muffins are a delicious way to say “good morning.”

Or “good evening.” Or just, um, “hello.” Whatever works for you.

The glaze is the real highlight — don’t skimp on the good stuff. You could even poke holes in the cooling muffins to allow even more of that delicious sugary mixture to infiltrate, just like I do with the Key lime cupcakes.

Apparently I have a thing for fruit-flavored treats?

Eh, there are worse things.


Lemon muffins


Lemon Olive Oil Muffins

Recipe from Nosh My Way

Ingredients for muffin:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons 2% milk
Fresh juice of half a lemon (or about two tablespoons)
1 egg
1 egg white

Ingredients for glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Grated lemon rind (optional)

Directions:
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, lemon rind, olive oil, milk, lemon juice, egg and egg white in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until well combined.

Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter evenly into 10 muffin cups coated with cooking spray or cupcake liners.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon rind and 3 tablespoons juice in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon glaze over each muffin; let stand 5 minutes or until set. Garnish with lemon rind, if desired.

Yield: 8-10 muffins.
Weight Watchers PointsPlus value without glaze: 3; with glaze: 4


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Glazed eggnog scones — keeping Christmas alive

Glazed scones 2


So. It’s late January.

I guess now isn’t the best time to start chatting about eggnog . . . but if you’re anything like me, you’ll happily have a glass any time of year.

Although, well, maybe not in summer. Because . . . well, for obvious reasons.

But it’s still cold, we have snow on the ground, Christmas isn’t quite a distant memory — so why not whip up a baked treat calling forth the great flavors of the season?

Or, you know, just pin this recipe for later. It’s cool.

If you’ll allow me for just a moment, I’d like to toot my own horn — because I made scones. By myself. For the first time ever . . . and with my new Kitchen Aid.

My grandma and I share a love of the crumbly, delicious, buttery goodness that is a fresh-baked scone. We visit a local tea room every fall for her birthday, and the cap to our wonderful meal? Well, you guessed it.

Gram and I have often talked about making our own at home, but I’ve been intimidated. I’m not sure why, exactly; I mean, I love to bake, and I generally find that if you follow the directions in a recipe to a T, well . . . you’ll get pretty positive results.

Spence and I bought a half gallon of eggnog in December because ’twas the season, but I knew I couldn’t be left alone with that much fatty, awesomeness just taunting me from the fridge. Coming across a recipe for eggnog scones seemed like destiny, and I set to work on Christmas Eve.

I’ll admit it wasn’t looking good at first, friends. The dough from the bowl of the mixer (also, eh, had to learn to use the mixer) was sticky, clumpy, weird. Decidedly not scone-like. I couldn’t visualize how this wet mess was going to become a tender, flaky pastry, but . . .

It did.

Like a miracle.

A Christmas miracle.


Baked scones 1


The trick? Pre-cutting the dough on the cookie sheet so you can deepen those triangle cuts later. Once I saw the whole thing coming together, I clapped my hands with glee . . . and was so, so incredibly proud. Like, more proud than I’ve ever been of a baked good in my life.

I shared a bunch with Gram to commemorate my accomplishment, then saved four to share with my husband and mom- and pop-in-law on Christmas Day with our coffee.

Whether you go with eggnog or another of the many fantastic varieties floating around online, I’d recommend giving scones a try.

You may just surprise yourself.


Glazed scones 1


Glazed eggnog scones

Recipe from Shugary Sweets

Ingredients:
For the scones:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed, softened
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup eggnog
1 tsp rum extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp eggnog
1/4 tsp nutmeg


Directions:
1. For the scones, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Using the beater blade of an electric mixer, add in butter and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs.

2. Add in egg, greek yogurt, eggnog, rum extract and nutmeg. Combine completely.

3. On a large baking sheet with parchment paper, shape dough into a large rectangle using your hands. Dust hands and dough with flour to help with sticking.

4. Press your rectangle to 8 1/2 inch x 6 1/2 inch – 1/2inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, slice in half horizontally. Then cut it into thirds vertically (you will have 6 rectangles). Cut each rectangle in half to make 2 triangles. You will be left with a total of 12 triangles. Don’t separate them on the baking sheet yet.

5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and re-cut your triangles. Separate carefully and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely before applying glaze.

6. For the glaze, whisk together sugar, eggnog and nutmeg. Add more/less eggnog for desired consistency. Spoon glaze over each scone and allow to set, about 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


Baked scones 2


Skip the brownies — go for the batter

Why is it that brownie batter tastes so much better than the brownies themselves ever could?

Seriously. If you’re having a bad day, fix yourself up some brownie batter. Instant mood lifter! And if I’m ingesting the calories anyway,
I’d rather ingest them in just such a form.

My brownies at today’s “dessert extravaganza” for Leslie, my friend and boss, went extremely well. The only sad part is that after throwing her a “goodbye” party, we actually have to say goodbye.

Unpleasant.

But I have photos of Dessert Gathering Blowout ’08 to come!