Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bakery-Style Berry Muffins

A number of years ago (yikes, it makes me feel old that I can write phrases like that and have them be true), I spent an afternoon taking a vegan cookie workshop. I lived in Santa Cruz at the time, so it was not an atypical way to spend a weekend afternoon. The class was a lot of fun and the cookies we made were fantastic! But then every time I tried baking vegan cookies in my own kitchen, they turned out terrible - flat, thin messes. It could have been a number of things: the class was a pretty casual affair and we just jotted down the ingredients and instructions, so I could have been off. It could have been my crappy apartment oven. I’m not really sure. I decided butter was better and didn’t look back. Until recently when I picked up a copy of Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar (and, I will also admit, its companion book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World). I have not had any problems with the cookies from that book - other than the fact that it’s almost too easy to make chocolate chip cookies - one bowl, no bringing butter to room temperature - and they all have been fantastic.

I saw a copy of Vegan Brunch at the library recently and decided that I’d try expanding my butter-free baking repertoire into breakfast baked goods. Whenever I check cookbooks out for the library, I put them into one of three categories: 1) I don’t think I would use the book much and won’t end up buying it; 2) Something I might want to have in my collection someday; you know, probably when I need something to get free shipping on an Amazon order or see it discounted; and 3) I “need” it in my collection ASAP. This book falls into the third category, as all three recipes I have made so far have been successful and tasty. I made wonderfully crisp waffles and some excellent pancakes, neither of which Josh would have guessed were vegan if I hadn‘t told him. And I didn’t until after he ate them and said they were wonderful.

Enough about my cookbook habits and recipes I’m not blogging about, let’s talk about these muffins. The only ingredient this recipe included that I don’t normally have around is soy yogurt, which was not hard to find and is surprisingly good. They are called bakery-style due to the high amount of sugar in them, making them almost like cake. :) I proceeded to make them even more sweet by topping them with crunchy coarse sugar. I did sub some whole wheat flour for about a quarter of the all-purpose, so I think it evens out. I was tempted to use my giant muffin tins to make them even more bakery-esque, but resisted and made them normal size. These soft fluffy muffins definitely brightened up breakfast around here for a few mornings, and were very easy to make. Yay vegan treats!

Bakery-Style Berry Muffins, from Vegan Brunch

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup soy yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk)]
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yogurt, milk, canola oil, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Fold in the berries.

Scoop the batter into the muffin tin; it should almost fill the entire tin. Bake for 26 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or butter knife inserted through the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the tin, then transfer muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Gloria - The Ginger Snap Girl said...

I think you've got me sold on trying some vegan baked goods. I've always been freaked out by the concept of baking with no butter and eggs! I will have to give these a try. I love muffins that are cakelike. Good job and getting your hubby on board too! ;)

Anonymous said...

These sound great, and so easy to make. Remembering to bring butter to room temp is one of my least favorite things about baking!

Leslie said...

I never, ever would have given these a second look but you and Josh both think they're good? High praise indeed. They certainly look tasty!

Unknown said...

Any recipe that allows me to skip the step of bringing butter to room temperature immediately catches my attention :) These sound fantastic! I'm going to check my library and see if I can borrow this book!

Unknown said...

Margot, your muffins look scrumptious! I ♥ vegan desserts! So funny, I do the same thing w/ library books. I have the Vegan Cookie Jar book...but now I want to check out the Vegan brunch book! So good to know you loved it! Hope you guys are having a great summer!

spike. said...

I love muffins with crunchy sugar on top. Looks perfect