Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Big, Beautiful Muffins with Apricots and Almonds

When I first saw these muffins appear in my Google Reader, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I absolutely love fresh, plump, dried apricots. I think dried apricots are often overlooked because when they dry out, they're like eating leather... but a fresh bag are so soft and velvety, absolutely delicious.
One of my absolute favorite flavors in baking is almond extract. Often I substitute it for vanilla extract , or combine the two for more depth of flavor. Everything about these muffins screamed "MAKE ME!"
So I let the recipe sit there, waiting for a special brunch. When apricots went on super sale the weekend before my family came to town, I grabbed some and immediately knew what they were destined for... these glorious muffins!
The end result is in fact fluffly, light, tender muffins. They're slightly sweet with little bits of almond crunch and soft apricot pieces. I think next time I make these, I'll dust the tops with a raw sugar for a final bit of crunch, but these muffins served warm with a pat of butter or apricot preserves is the perfect breakfast treat.

Big Beautiful Muffins with Apricots and Almonds

seen on Romancing the Stove, adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

3 cups all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups plain lowfat yogurt
2 large eggs
8 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cup diced apricots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Generously coat a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable spray, or use paper cups with a little cooking spray.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
Whisk the yogurt, eggs, and almond extract together in a medium bowl.
Gently fold the yogurt-egg mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined.
Fold in melted butter, and apricots.
Use a large ice-cream scoop or measuring cup to divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Sprinkle several sliced almonds over the top of the batter in each muffin cup.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Debbi Smith said...

I LOVE almonds and almond extract too. These look wonderful!

Peabody said...

Those are some beautiful muffins...yum!

Joanne said...

I can't keep dried apricots in the house - I eat them all WAY too quickly! These muffins sound delicious.

Sophie @ yumventures said...

I've never used almond extract, but now I think I must! I love almonds more than any other nut :)

bearcatfan1 said...

These muffins look beautiful and delicious!!!