This weekend, I find myself in the kitchen, avoiding work, avoiding weeding my garden and avoiding Italy preparations.
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup nonfat buttermilk, (or nonfat milk mixed with 1 T lemon juice)
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
- 4 oz. light cream cheese
- Sugar in the Raw or sliced almonds (see my notes below)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 large (1/2-cup) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemon in long strips. Combine the zest and sugar in a food processor; pulse until the zest is very finely chopped into the sugar. Add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla and pulse until blended.
- Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in raspberries. Divide the batter among the muffin cups.
- Divide cream cheese into 12 equal pieces and place on top of each muffin along with one raspberry. Push gently down into each muffin and sprinkle with Sugar in the Raw
- Bake the muffins until the edges and tops are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Let flavors meld overnight.
When these first came out of the oven, I was disappointed with the results. The muffins were nothing special and the filling tasted of cream cheese rather than cheesecake. However, after sitting for the better part of the day (and overnight), the flavors melded into something much more delicious with the cream cheese picking up the sweetness of the muffins. Next time, I think they would benefit from a crunchy sprinkling of sliced almonds on the top, replacing the sugar – or perhaps even chopped walnuts in the batter. I will be making them again.
Adapted from EatingWell July/August 2007