Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ricotta Blackberry Muffins

I sort of have an obsession with blackberries.  I don't know why, but in the last two summers they have become my favorite berry.  Even over strawberries & blueberries...which I LOVE!  When I saw this recipe on Two Peas & Their Pod I had to make it right away.  Their recipe was actually Lemon Ricotta Blackberry muffins, but unfortunately I didn't remember when I stopped by the grocery so I was without lemons.  I also had an afterthought that this might go great with orange zest as an alternate.  Either way, they are so tasty and made my house smell fabulous.  They are such dense, almost creamy, muffins with the ricotta and were perfect with the big pops of sweet and tart berries.  You could choose to fold in the blackberries if you would rather so they mixed in better, but we really liked them this way.  They are probably the best muffins I've made thus far, close second is definitely these.  I made some small modifications to make them a bit healthier by making them half wheat flour & using half the sugar, and you couldn't even taste the wheat and we thought they were perfectly sweet.

Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta cheese (low-fat if you can find it)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blackberries
Turbinado sugar-for sprinkling on muffin tops (didn't have this, but I used a touch of regular)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Rub the lemon zest and sugar together with your fingers. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar and lemon zest mixture together until light and fluffy, about two minutes.  Add the ricotta cheese and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended, note your batter will be thick. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill each muffin cup half way with batter. Add three blackberries to each muffin cup. Top the muffins with remaining batter so blackberries are covered. Generously sprinkle turbinado sugar over each muffin top.
4. Bake muffins for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown. Let muffins cool for five minutes and serve.

three blackberries in each muffin

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