Double Strawberry Cinnamon Muffins

It’s “Couch Time”!  You know, where I bare my soul and tell you things that I don’t even share with my husband?  Yes, that’s the one.  Here goes nothing…….I have been in a big blogging slump over the past few days and battling a slight bit of depression.  There I said it.
For over 3 weeks I planned the Monopoly Dinner Party, creating an over the top meal that would only last 1 day.  Normally, my planning is many menu items that can be spread over a week or two of blogging.  Not 12 menu items for one day.  Anyway, the moral of the story is this.  Planning a huge dinner party is kind of like buying a house.  You are on the phone constantly with your Realtor or your mortgage person over the weeks of escrow.  You talk to them so much that it feels weird when you don’t speak.  Then the big day arrives and you are handed the keys to your new home and everyone says “Congrats” and then…..the phone stops ringing and you feel this little empty pit in the bottom of your stomach.  The amping excitement and never ending “need you now” is over.  That’s kind of like a big dinner party.  You plan and plan and plan some more.  You have stacks of to-do lists that you check and double check.  You tell the kids to go watch TV so you can crank out another make-ahead portion of the meal.  The Hubs is buying pizzas for dinner so that you don’t have to “cook tonight”.  Then the big day arrives and you feast like Kings and Queens and drink like a fish.  Ok, maybe the last part was just me.  Anyway, you wake up the next day with a hangover and a stomach ache and stumble to the kitchen that is filled with stacks of dirty dishes, find a clean coffee mug, sit down and then it hits you.  You have “NOTHING” to do today (aside from attacking the sea of dishes).  Nothing.  The congrats have been said, the keys are in your hand and the phone stops ringing.  Maybe it’s just me, but I find myself getting into a funk after such a big to-do!  Which is where I am this week.  Funkytown!  Not the great disco diddy by Lipps Inc., but the other Funkytown where you just can’t bring yourself to do much of anything.  Even though I’m constantly pep-talking myself into snapping out of it.  It’s just lingering around me like a big puffy parka with a broken zipper.  
Don’t think I’m blaming my Worldly-woes on the dinner party.  That’s just one piece in the puzzle.  The weather is putting me in a funk as well.  Last night on the news they said that we’ve had 2 days since the beginning of March where we’ve had 60 degrees or more.  2 Days…March!  That’s nuts!  Typically we’d be in the double digits by now.  Anyway, I keep telling myself that it’s only weather and it will pass and soon I’ll be complaining that it’s too hot.  So that’s my big “wahhhhh” for the day.  It actually feels good to get it out.  Probably not so great to read it, but if you managed to stick around long enough to get to these words, then Thanks!  You are a true friend.  
So let’s stop talking about Chicken Little and start talking about some awesome Double Strawberry Muffins.  They are double because of the addition of strawberry yogurt and strawberry jam.  They are quick to make, and super tasty.  The kids have been devouring them like candy.  Give them a shot and Hey, thanks for listening.  

Start off with a medium bowl and add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt

Whisk it together to combine.  Make a well in the center and set aside.

 To another bowl add fat free or light yogurt, melted butter, milk and egg.

Whisk the egg and yogurt mixture to combine.

Add it to the well in the flour and mix lightly to combine.

Remember – beating flour equals gluten production and gluten equals hockey puck muffins.  Be gentle.

The mixture should be a little firm and not pourable.

Use a small ice cream scoop or teaspoons to drop 1 tablespoon of batter into muffin cups

Top each with 1 teaspoon of strawberry jam.  I used sugar-free and they came out great.  I’ll be testing the recipe again using Splenda in place of sugar and applesauce in place of the butter which would take away a lot of the sins of these muffins, and hopefully not the taste.

Use the remaining batter and top the jam equally.  The more you cover the jam with the batter, the less likely it will be that you’ll have jam seeping out of the sides.  Next you’ll make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle the tops before baking at 375 for 15 minutes.

Double Strawberry Cinnamon Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup fat-free or light strawberry yogurt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp fat free milk
1 egg
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a muffin tin with papers and set aside.

2 In a medium bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine.  Make a well in the center and set aside.

3 In another bowl add the yogurt, butter, milk and egg and whisk to combine.  Pour into the well in the flour mixture and using a scraper/spatula, lightly mix the wet into the dry until just combined.

4 Drop one tablespoon of batter into the prepared muffin cups and top with 1 teaspoon of jam.  Top evenly with the remaining batter.

5 In a small bowl, combine the 1 tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the tops of each muffin.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until centers are done.  Cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Note: you could change this recipe by adding different flavored yogurts and jam.  Blueberry or Blackberry would be outstanding.  

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