Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Semi-virtuous, totally delicious recipe for Double Chocolate-Cherry Muffins
New Year's resolutions aside, cold weather makes me want to bake. That's why these sweetly satisfying muffins are semi-virtuous. After all, we're not even a month into the New Year, too early to abandon my good intentions.
When stirring up this recipe, I reached for more healthful versions of many ingredients -- white whole-wheat flour, which has all the nutrition of regular whole-wheat but is lighter in color and texture, plus nonfat milk and coconut oil, which is one of the more healthful oils. Cherries add flavor, moisture, vitamins and fiber. And chocolate is practically a health food, right? Even if it isn't, cocoa powder adds loads of chocolate flavor with a minimum of fat.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE-CHERRY MUFFINS
Yield: 12 muffins
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process or 1/4 cup Dutch process and 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup nonfat or low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pitted fresh or frozen cherries or jarred cherries, well drained (don't use cherry pie filling)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Coarse sugar, optional
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
Melt coconut oil; let cool. In a large bowl, gently whisk together milk, egg and vanilla. Add cooled (but still liquid) oil; whisk until slightly frothy. Add dry ingredients; fold together just until well combined. Add cherries and chocolate chips; mix lightly but well.
Divide batter among muffin cups. (An ice-cream scoop coated with nonstick cooking spray works well.) If desired, sprinkle lightly with coarse sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without any clinging crumbs. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Freeze any leftovers; warm slightly before serving.)
Each muffin contains 269 calories; 15g fat (11g saturated fat); 18mg cholesterol; 214mg sodium; 36g carbohydrate (4g fiber, 22g sugars), 5g protein.