I just spent a fantastic weekend on the lake at my boyfriend’s family’s camp. While it’s nice to be home, having to bring myself back to reality after a weekend of saunas, swimming, and sunshine is a bit of a bummer… I love long weekends, don’t get me wrong, but having to say goodbye to my home away from home was quite depressing…today is Monday, which means tomorrow is the beginning of another work week, a short work week, but a work week nonetheless. I am already itching to be back to that tree covered slice of heaven, where cell reception is minimal and food preparation involves a barbecue and paper plates. This summer the weather has been slightly uncooperative; we had a tumultuous heat wave that left me sluggish and slothful in my blistering apartment, minimal movement and cooking was key here, and now our weather is, while mostly comfortable, a little on the chilly side. The wind has been incredibly cool for this time of year, leaving me feeling as though fall is quickly approaching. I predict that we will likely be facing another long winter. Blah!
Whenever my boyfriend and I return from camp we’re usually lazy and our nights often include netflix, video games, and sleep. I have no intention of cooking a big fancy schmancy dinner, and I certainly have no intention of doing dishes (thank god my father is spending the weekend with us – he is a dish washing champion, thanks dad!). Anyway, my lack of motivation to turn on my oven usually leads us to two options: take out, or homemade pizza. While I love me a good hot pressed wrap from one of our local eats, I’ve always been a pizza girl. Fat Tuesday’s has been my first choice lately, but I still love a good homemade pizza, and that’s been my go to rather than order in – it actually takes way less time, it’s super cheap, and honestly I think it might even taste better…plus I don’t get a belly ache from all the grease I’d be ingesting if I did order in.
I usually purchase a pizza crust from our local independent grocer if we’re planning to go to camp for the weekend so that I can have the ingredients I need at home to make the pizza – I use Molinaro’s Supremo Deep Dish Pizza Crust – it comes with 2 crusts and 2 packs of sauce. Don’t knock the pre-made stuff! I know there is often so much taboo with ready made meals, any many swear that from scratch meals are the only way to go – but I also think that easy and convenient are the way to go, especially if I am reluctant to put much effort into my dinner. Besides, I’m adding all my own toppings…so I’m pretty confident I can label this as homemade. For my toppings, I add the sauce (duh), and then I throw a layer of chopped spinach on top. I add chopped mushrooms, lots of jalapenos, and then feta and bacon. I top it with a layer of four cheese Italiano cheese and Maple Leaf Naturals pre-cut pepperoni slices. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, broil for 2 minutes, and then presto! Done! I let the pizza cool for 3 to 5 minutes, slice and serve. Sounds pretty fantastic right? It so easy and takes no time! Now, wait until you hear what I made for dessert. So lets talk muffins.
So I couldn’t help myself…when I got home from camp this afternoon I was itching to make another skinny muffin! I am not through my list of healthy bakes that I want to create, and I thought, hey…it will only take 1/2 hour of my time, why not? So I got baking. I did a quick scan of the ingredients in my cupboards, and settled on Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins.
What makes these muffins healthy? Some of the wet ingredients include unsweetened applesauce, sugar, and honey. There is only 1/2 cup of sugar for the entire dozen muffins you get out of this recipe, and the honey sweetens the rest. The applesauce is a great substitution for fat, and paired with the Greek yogurt it helps keep the muffins nice and moist, eliminating the need for fats like oil or butter. I used 2 egg whites instead of one large egg – this keeps the fat content down. There is 4.5 g of fat in one large egg yolk, and 0.1 g of fat in one eggs white. Yikes! What a difference! This also brings the calorie content down slightly.
The one thing I absolutely LOVED about these muffins was the moist ewey gooey-ness thanks to the yummy chocolate chips…I had my first bite while the muffin was still relatively warm and fresh out of the oven. It was soooo good! If you have them again the next day, I recommended tossing them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up again. Its sooo goood. And, just to remind you one more time, these are low fat, low sugar, and low calorie, with a whopping 137 calories per muffin. Now that’s not so bad is it?
Just one more thing I want to point out – these muffins have an initial baking temperature of 425F degrees, and then after 5 minutes, the muffins are cooked at 375F degrees for an additional 13 minutes. Why? This helps make high domed muffins. Now, I’m not 100 percent on if I did this correctly, according to Sally’s instructions, overmixing the batter is a BIG NO NO. I feel I may have done this…ouuups. Some of my muffins turned out a little flat, but they still looked a little higher than the ones I’ve baked before, so next time, I will skip my stand mixer and fold in the ingredients by hand to get a thicker, lumpier batter. You want a spoonable batter, not a pourable batter. Filing the muffins tins to the top is also a must, the more batter, the more likely you will produce a high domed, fluffy muffin.
Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 12 muffins. 137 calories per serving. Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well up to 3 months: heat up for 1 minute after frozen.
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 large egg whites (or 1 large egg)
- 3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, plain or vanilla)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus a few more for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. Do not use liners.
- In a large bowl, combine applesauce, sugar, honey, egg whites, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. Whisk them all together until smooth, with no yogurt lumps remaining.
- Sift the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix. Get any dry pockets of flour out. Fold in the mini chocolate chips. The batter will be a little chunky. This is ok.
- Divide the batter evenly amount 12 liners – fill them all the way to the top if you can. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature down to 375 and continue to bake for 13 more minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake for only 2 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Literally thought my boyfriend died and went to heaven when he bit into one of these bite sized chocolate bundles of fantasticness.
I urge you to make these – you will not be disappointed!! Next weekend Ken and I will once again find ourselves at camp – rain or shine! I’m really unsure of what the next baking creation will be – but I will post before I leave captivity. I think this weekend I may try to make some fall off the bone, finger licking good ribs, possibly with a homemade sauce if I can find the time. Yummmmy!! Happy Baking!