Cran-Chocolate Praline Topped Muffins

by Joanne on March 14, 2015

One of the biggest misconceptions about runners is that we can eat anything we like and not get fat.  Not so. SO Not True!  Most competitive runners are very meticulous about their diet, balancing carefully the required amount of protein and carbs and minimizing fat.  If we didn’t, and we assumed that we could eat anything our heart and mouth desired, our waist size would most like be two to three sizes larger.

A healthy weight is maintained by the proper amount of exercise coupled with the right amount of food to enable the body to produce the necessary aerobic output.  With that being said, it certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t the time or the place for a much needed CHEAT DAY.  These are the muffins I chose to put on that cheat day menu…

Cranberry – Chocolate Praline Topped Muffins.

A moist, tender muffin, the recipe for which came to mind as I peered into the fridge wondering what to do with that little bit of Greek yogurt left in the container. You see, I’ve been enjoying fat free cottage cheese with my fruit in the morning over 0% fat Greek yogurt.  Not that I don’t enjoy yogurt anymore, it’s just that my stomach seemed “quieter” when I opted for cottage cheese over the more tangy taste of yogurt.

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This recipe isn’t a diet solution by any means but, as I’ve always said, we need a cheat day so make a batch of these muffins and enjoy your cheat day.

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Makes 24 standard to large muffins

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks cold butter or 2 sticks chilled 0% Trans Fat margarine
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup 0% fat Greek Style yogurt
  • 1 1/4 cup fat free milk
  • 3/4 cup 50% less sugar Craisins
  • 3/4 cup semisweet Chocolate Chunks

Topping:  1/4 cup 50% less sugar Craisins + 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks + 24 Praline Pecans (or candied pecans).

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spray muffin pans with non – stick flour based cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar.  Cut in the butter and mix until it comes to a course crumb.

Beat into the dry mix the eggs, then yogurt and milk.

Stir in the 3/4 cups of Craisins and chocolate chunks. Spoon about 1/4 to 1/3 cup into the muffin tins (distribute batter evenly to get 24 muffins).

Mix together the 1/4 cup Craisins and 1/4 cup chunks and spoon about 1 tsp onto the top of each batter filled muffin cup.  Top each with 1 Praline Pecan / candied pecan.

Bake for 20 – 24 minutes, until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

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…now take a deep long breath of sweet, muffin-laced air and allow your mouth to water before indulging in the ecstasy of that first bite.

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Note:  You can also use frozen fresh cranberries if you like.

I don’t like using muffin/cupcake wrappers when I bake muffins. I think they are fiddling when eating the muffin.  How about you?  Prefer making muffins with the cupcake wrappers or without?

What about a cheat day? Do you allow yourself one a week?

 

Cran-Chocolate Praline Topped Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A very tender, moist muffin with a candied topping. Smell the sweet aroma of these muffins baking then before taking your first bite, fill your nostrils with that fresh baked muffin air and prepare your mouth for a taste of Heaven.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 2 sticks cold butter or 2 sticks chilled 0% Trans Fat margarine
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup 0% fat Greek Style yogurt
  • 1¼ cup fat free milk
  • ¾ cup 50% less sugar Craisins
  • ¾ cup semisweet Chocolate Chunks
  • Topping: ¼ cup 50% less sugar Craisins + ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chunks + 24 Praline Pecans (or candied pecans).
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray muffin pans with non – stick flour based cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. Cut in the butter and mix until it comes to a course crumb.
  3. Beat into the dry mix the eggs, then yogurt and milk.
  4. Stir in the ¾ cups of Craisins and chocolate chunks. Spoon about ¼ to ⅓ cup into the muffin tins (distribute batter evenly to get 24 muffins).
  5. Mix together the ¼ cup Craisins and ¼ cup chunks and spoon about 1 tsp onto the top of each batter filled muffin cup. Top each with 1 Praline Pecan / candied pecan.
  6. Bake for 20 – 24 minutes, until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Joanne

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