Tasty muffins go against the fatty grain

January 10, 1996|By Charlotte Balcomb Lane | Charlotte Balcomb Lane,TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

Not all baked sweets have to be fattening. These light, fresh-tasting poppy citrus muffins contain less than one gram of fat per muffin, yet they taste rich and indulgent.

The muffins are low in fat because they're made with skim milk and nonfat plain yogurt instead of butter, margarine or shortening. Yet they have plenty of fresh, memorable flavor courtesy of a combination of orange and lemon peels and crunchy, delicate poppy seeds. A delicious, sweet-sour glaze gives the final touch of flavor on top.

You don't have to be a master baker to get good results from this recipe.

You simply beat the liquid ingredients together, then gently stir in the dry ingredients to make a thin batter. After 20 minutes in the oven, you have 12 fragrant muffins that taste almost too good to be low in fat.

Poppy citrus muffins

Makes 12 muffins

nonstick cooking spray

2 egg whites

1 whole egg

3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried lemon peel (1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel)

1/4 teaspoon dried orange peel (1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel)

1/2 cup skim milk

1 2/3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

GLAZE:

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the egg whites, whole egg, plain yogurt and sugar. Beat on medium with an electric mixer until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, lemon and orange peels and skim milk and beat on low until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and poppy seeds. Beat the dry ingredients into the liquid ingredients on low speed until most of the flour has been incorporated.

Use a wooden spoon or flexible spatula to finish mixing in the flour, but do not stir the batter any more than necessary. Use a 1/4 -cup measure to pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin.

Bake 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown on top and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from muffin tins and cool completely on a wire rack. When the muffins are cool, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together to form a thin glaze. Drizzle lightly over the top of each muffin. Allow to dry, then store in an airtight container.

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