Raspberry Almond Muffins

As much as the little devil on my shoulder (or would that be my two sons and husband?) may cajole, I don’t want to make what is essentially dessert masquerading as breakfast most mornings.  But no quick breads, scones, or muffins?  Why bother getting up?  My solution when temptation hits is to moderate it by hitting up my whole grain flour collection.

Besides the modern greats (Good to the Grain, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals) I’ve found the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book to be an excellent companion to keep me on the straight and narrow.  And to my mind this book gets extra credit for being ahead of its time–originally published in 1984, well before whole grain baking was trendy, cool or whatever.  And it’s remarkably forward-looking in other ways, with chapters for those sensitive to gluten, egg, and dairy.  (Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about such things, but such books are a treasure for those who do).   And while this particular recipe uses wheat, it could be easily adapted for dairy and/or egg free diets.

Raspberry Almond Muffins (3 of 4)

As a bonus, these muffins also have less added sugar, as they rely on orange juice for much of their sweetness.  Using fruit juice where you tend to see milk in baking recipes is just another great trick I’ve learned from the Laurel Kitchen.  And orange juice adds the freshness of citrus, even while not imparting an orange-y flavor that might or might  not be welcome.

Raspberry Almond Muffins (4 of 4)

But enough about all that, because of course the real question is how they taste–as Maria Speck points out, people always want to sell you on whole grains for the health benefits, but who cares if you don’t also want to eat it?

First the raspberries–it just me, or are these thimble-sized fruits undeservedly forgotten in muffin baking endeavors?  They’re slightly larger than blueberries, but still small enough to be stirred into batter without needing to be pre-thawed (hurrah–no thinking ahead required).  Each little berry practically melts into a delicious burst of warm fresh jam in the oven.  (I used the last of a bag of raspberries we picked last fall at our town farm–the same ones I used for that raspberry cake I told you about just a year ago.  If yours have clumped up, just defrost slightly–no need to do so fully–so they separate out and can be stirred in).

Raspberry Almond Muffins (1 of 4)

Personally, I think those berries would possibly carry the day on their own, but just a trickle of almond extract turned out transport these to a new level–both enhancing the fruit and imparting its own alluring aroma that, at least for me, is utterly compelling.

And let’s be honest–it does make it just a little-bit dessert-like.

Raspberry Almond Muffins

Note:  of course you could use fresh raspberries–which would reduce the cooking time–but these are so fleeting a pleasure I can’t bear to eat them other than fresh.

Makes 14 muffins

  • 1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour (7 ounces)
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/4t baking soda
  • 1/2t powdered ginger (optional)
  • 3T butter
  • 3T brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4c orange juice
  • 1/2t almond extract
  • 1c frozen raspberries
Preheat the oven to 375F, and line or grease 14 muffin tins.
Stir together the flour, salt, baking powder and soda, and ginger in a medium bowl.
Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl, then beat in the egg, orange juice and almond extract.
Whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined.
Fold in the raspberries and spoon the batter evenly into the wells of your muffin tins.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed, or a tester comes out clean.

Raspberry Almond Muffins (2 of 4)

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21 thoughts on “Raspberry Almond Muffins

  1. These look delicious! I only have white whole wheat flour on hand… will this work? Or does it need to be pastry flour? I’m a little shy to say I don’t really know the difference… 😦

    • I’m not sure–I know that to some extent white whole wheat can be used like AP. Whole wheat pastry flour is just whole wheat flour made from soft (low-protein) wheat. Sorry if I’m telling you something you already know, but it’s like how there is bread flour (high protein/gluten); all purpose (medium) and cake (low)–low protein means it wouldn’t make a good bread but will make a nice tender crumb. Whole wheat pastry flour is therefore low protein so it’s better than “regular” whole wheat for things like muffins, etc. You could always just do 50% white flour and 50% white whole wheat to be safe (I often do that–some is better than none right?) See this link as well: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/flours/white-whole-wheat-flour.html

    • Magda, I replied to your comment than realized I was mixed up and thinking of the cardamom-pistachio muffins I made. I think this would work as a cake, or maybe as a quick bread–I think that quick breads and muffins can always use the same batter, but the cooking time is of course longer for a loaf. If I had to guess I’d say an 8 inch rather than a 9 inch cake pan is the right size, just because these aren’t huge muffins?

    • Also, if you haven’t seen Maria Speck’s book “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” you should check it out–she is half Greek and very inspired by those flavors, and the whole book is about whole grains (baking, cooking, sweet and savory) so I bet you’d love it! I have my own copy and got a second for my mother.

  2. I need to check out Ancient Grains…sounds like a great book. Your muffins are wonderful! I have frozen raspberries so will pop into the kitchen to start baking. I keep a jar of multi-grain flour now (I use Kim Boyce’s mix) ready for pancakes, etc and love the flavor. So true – if it doesn’t taste good, why eat it?

  3. Just made these with a dab of cream cheese filling in the middle–the muffins are the perfect texture and so delicious! I had a big fail with whole grain muffins last week and these are a great way to bounce back.

  4. Just made these with a dab of cream cheese at the top (I was feeling decadent) and they are amazing! I had a big fail with whole grain muffins last week and this was the perfect recovery recipe. I want to try this batter with different fruit combinations (strawberry rhubarb?).

    • Oh I am so happy to hear that. I’ve had my share of failures, believe me. I think your strawberry-rhubarb idea sounds fantastic. Especially if you play up the ginger more perhaps? Let me know!

  5. Well hellu there… 🙂

    Right, so it’s Saturday evening over here, and I’m roaming the net for food and book blogs 🙄 What do I find? Something for breakfast! Yaaay! These sound sooo deliscious; can’t wait to bake up a batch, sit down with some tea and Gail Carriger’s Soulless early in the morning.

    There’s a slight glitch though. *dream-bubble bursts* Being a Swede, I’m used to the good ole’ metric system (you know deciliters and grams).

    Hate to be a bother, but would you be a sweetheart and give me a clue as to what “t” and “T” is short for? Teaspoon/tablespoon/theidontknowbutilljusttakewhateverspoonihavespoon? I know it’s probably beyond silly to ask, but I’m not exactly a natural in the kitchen on a good day 🙂 regardless of measuring system.

    I’m guessing “c” = cups. 1 US cup ≈ 2.3 dl ?

    Kind regards,

    • Hey, I have been meaning to get better about using metric measures so thanks for the reminder–spent a while living in Europe and frankly prefer weight measures anyway. T is for tablespoon which is about 15mL and t is for teaspoons which is 5mL. You guessed right re “c” which is cup; it’s 8 fluid ounces which I THINK is 240mL…hope this helps and that you enjoy!

      • Allot clearer now, thank you! 🙂 Lord it’s embarrassing being so disabled in all things kitchen-related … Will give it a brave try this evening!

        For the rest, it never hurts exercising one’s brain doing some conversions before baking (and subsequently eating) . I’ll just tell myself I’m burning calories doing some light math.

        As for measures; I do understand the use of standard US-measures on here! But since I actually decided to start baking/cooking some of the recipes on here, it suddenly got a wee bit trickier… So, if you were to have the time while you’re writing up the recipes, it would be an immense help tucking in a translation for us far-off-ish-folks!

        Thanks for a scrumptious blog 🙂
        ___
        Ps. You have my apologies if your eyes are hurting from this inane and brutal abuse of the English language. Being high on coffee and stress but low on sleep is one of my ugly sides.

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