Ye olde yeast-leavened English muffin is “a physical base and a pretext for eating melted butter,” according to Alan Davidson, author of “The Penguin Companion of Food.”
American muffins often get the same buttery treatment. But when ingenious bakers eventually began tossing juicy, antioxidant-rich blueberries into their quick bread batter, there was no longer a need for that pat of butter.
The physical base of The Star’s Mini Lemon Glazed Blueberry Muffins is made of white whole-wheat flour. (It’s OK to trick the kiddos with this milder, softer and whiter flour because it is still a whole grain.)
Protein-rich yogurt cuts the fat while producing a moist crumb.
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And although bakeries and supermarkets have inflated single-serve muffins to coffeecake proportions, we decided to downsize, using three 12-inch mini muffin tins.
Shopping tip: For testing purposes, we used Chobani Greek yogurt.
Preparation tips: Do not wash blueberries until ready to use; dry completely before adding to the batter to avoid a purple tinge.
Two to 3 tablespoons of the lemon sugar mixture will be left over after dipping, but you need the volume for this step. One teenage tester preferred the muffins minus the lemon glaze and sugar, which is certainly an option.
Mini Lemon Glazed Blueberry Muffins
2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 (5.3-ounce) containers plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, completely dry
Lemon sugar and glaze:
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a standard mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg until light in color. Add brown sugar and continue to whisk for 30 to 60 seconds. Add the melted butter in two batches, whisking after each addition. Add the Greek yogurt in two batches, whisking after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.
Gently toss blueberries in flour mixture. Add the yogurt mixture and fold gently until blended thoroughly. Do not over-mix. Divide batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. This will be a heaping tablespoon. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
While muffins are baking, prepare lemon sugar and glaze. Carefully remove muffins from muffin tin, place on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
To make lemon sugar: In a small bowl, stir lemon zest into 1/3 cup sugar; set aside.
To make the glaze: In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring and simmering until the mixture is thick and syrup-like. Allow the mixture to reduce to about 4 tablespoons.
After the muffins have cooled 5 minutes, brush the tops with lemon glaze and dip the tops in the lemon sugar.
Per muffin: 82 calories (20 percent from fat), 2 grams total fat (1 gram saturated),10 milligrams cholesterol, 14 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 81 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.
Recipe developed exclusively for The Star by professional home economists Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss.