Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chewy "Brown Sugar" Muffins

Due to a full sink and lack of dishes for cereal today, but a mysterious craving for oatmeal-y goodness, the boys and I decided that some really good and chewy oatmeal muffins were in order for breakfast. You know, the kind that remind you of fall a little as they bake, and make the kids ask if I made cookies for breakfast? Yep, those.

Of course, the problem is that those are usually full of sugar. Sad. And flour. Still sad. I have a cookbook of old-fashioned breakfast recipes where I found a Chewy Brown Sugar Muffin page that had possibilities. Why not take one of my favorite muffins from when I could have all those delicious carbs, and just make some modifications?

Heavy cream became Half and Half. An entire cup of pancake syrup became my sugar free syrup. Half the flour got substituted with a lower carb and richer oat flour mixture. Even the brown sugar got a makeover! At Fred Meyer (the only place I've found it) their store brand has a "brown sugar" sweetener. It's xylitol mixed with just enough molasses to give in the brown sugar dark color, smell, and taste. Granulated and measures cup for cup of "packed" brown sugar. Whereas sorbitol has the tendency to give me an upset stomach, I haven't found the same problem with xylitol. Hurray!

So here we go!

1 cup half and half

1 cup sugar free pancake syrup (I recommend Golden Griddle brand, it has less sugar alcohols and calories than the Cary's brand. And it's a LOT cheaper too!)

2 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar substitute (Feel free to use the Splenda brown sugar for baking blend, but the calorie and carb count will go up. )

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup oat flour (I measured out 1/2 cup rolled oats, put it in my little food processor, and whizzed it around until it was all ground up. It measured to just over 1/2 cup of flour/powder. You can use commercially prepared oat flour if desired.)

1/4 cup almond meal

3/4 tsp xanthan gum (adds stability that the gluten in flour usually would. Sort of a good idea when using alternate flour options to help the leaveners grab on the the flour and actually work. If you don't have it, you could try some corn starch.)

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup broken walnut pieces (optional, but I used them, so the nutrition information is for nuts included)

This is one of those beautiful recipes where you can just toss everything in a bowl and whisk it in! Add the nut pieces last so you make sure all the flours and leaveners are incorporated.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease up your muffin tins. I used a heaping 1/8 cup to fill each cup, a little over halfway full, and got 20 muffins. Without the nuts it would be closer to 18.

Bake 20 - 22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let sit for a minute before popping out of the tins.

These don't bake up as high as some other muffins do, but the original recipe was meant to be a denser, more filling muffin. So I don't attribute that to the flour substitutes. They had great color, and the house smelled like oatmeal cookies! And at only 126 calories (With nuts and making a batch of 20) they aren't going to kill your diet. I might add some flax seed meal next time for more fiber, just for kicks. There aren't enough left to freeze, but I imagine they'd do that just fine too!

Per muffin: 126 Calories, 60 from fat (but it's from the nuts, so it's a good kind of fat!)
                   6.7 grams of fat
                   1 grams of which is saturated fat
                  13 grams of Carbs
                  2 grams of fiber
                   4 grams of protein

1 Tasty Tidbits:

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