Showing posts with label breakfast recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breakfast recipes. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins: An easy, low-fat Coffeehouse recipe from Cleo Coyle

A Brew to A Kill:
A Coffeehouse Mystery
Cover art for the paperback
edition, releasing Aug. 2013
My readers might recall these light, chocolaty muffins from my recent Coffeehouse Mystery A Brew to a Kill

As the story opens, Greenwich Village coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi not only attempts to expand her business with a coffee and muffin truck, she also hires a sweet-natured dietitian to help lighten some of the higher calorie items on her menu. 

When Lilly is brutally struck by a hit-and-run driver, Clare’s outrage propels her into tracking down the culprit; and once again, Clare is sleuthing her way into and out of trouble. 

For today's recipe, I attempted to channel Lilly and duplicate one of her menu makeovers. May you eat it with joy--and in good health! 

~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle's 
Chocolate Ricotta Muffins 
With a mocha variation 

To download this recipe in a free 
PDF document that you can print, 
save, or share, click here.

A few quick notes...  

The star of today's recipe is, of course, the ricotta cheese, which brings creamy moistness to these muffins along with protein and nutrition. 
The fat component comes not from butter but canola oil. An even healthier option for the fat is one I sometimes choose--extra virgin, cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil. (If you've never used coconut oil before, a helpful post on particulars and brands can be found here.) 

Natural cocoa powder adds flavor but also structure to the muffins, which allowed me to reduce the amount of refined white flour in the recipe. To make these muffins even healthier, you can swap in “white whole wheat” flour instead of all-purpose, which brings more dietary fiber to your snack table. Finally, gluten-free flour is always an option for those who need it. 

And now for the recipe...

Makes 6 large muffins or 8 small


1 large egg
½ cup ricotta (whole or part-skim)
½ cup light buttermilk (shake before measuring)
3 Tablespoons oil (canola, vegetable, or extra virgin coconut)
¼ cup granulated white sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 pinches of table salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour 

Variation: For Mocha Muffins, add 1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso where indicated in Step 1. Instant espresso is freeze-dried espresso and not ground espresso roast beans. I use this brand (Medaglia D’oro), but you can certainly use any you like. 

Chocoholics: Feel free to fold in semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips before baking (1/3 to 1/2 cup, according to your own taste). You can even “go nuts” and add finely chopped hazelnuts or walnuts. 

Step 1 – Make muffin batter with one-bowl mixing method: Using a hand whisk or electric mixer, beat the egg until slightly frothy. Measure in the ricotta, light buttermilk, oil, white and light brown sugars, cocoa, vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, and baking soda (if making mocha muffin, add your 1-1/2 teaspoons of instant espresso now). Whisk well until fully blended. Measure in the flour. Mix only enough to make a smooth batter. Do not over-mix at this stage or you’ll develop the gluten in the flour and your muffins will be tough instead of tender. 

Step 2 – Spray the papers: Line muffin cups with paper holders and spray the papers with non-stick spray. This is a low-fat recipe, so if you do not spray the papers, the muffins will stick.

Step 3 – Bake: This recipe makes about 1-3/4 cups of muffin batter. You can make six large muffins or eight small ones. Divide the batter among your muffin cups. Bake in a well-preheated oven at 375° F. for about 20 minutes, depending on your oven. Do not over-bake. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into a test muffin comes out clean (with no batter clinging to it). 

TIP: Muffins will be fragile when they first come out of the hot oven. Allow them to cool in the pan for about ten minutes and transfer to a rack. If muffin edges are sticking to the paper, simply allow them to cool a bit more.

Optional frosting: 
If you like, finish cooled muffins with a dollop of my Chocolate “Buttercream” Frosting (without butter or cream). What is the mystery ingredient in this "healthified" chocolate frosting? (Followers of this blog already know. :))

Get my healthier chocolate frosting recipe by clicking the link above or clicking here


F   o  o  d  i  e 

P h o t o s

To see more recipes from 
A Brew to a Kill, click here 
for the illustrated guide, and...

☕  ☕  ☕  ☕  ☕

Eat with joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's News

Happy 2012!

Have you made a New Year's resolution?  So many of my friends don't bother, but I always do.  Some have been really good for me.  I enjoyed Avery's post about simplifying her life this year.  I don't need to simplify, but I'm going to manage my time better.  (Did you like the way I cut "try to" from that sentence and was firm about my intention?)  Of course, there's also that pesky resolution that rolls around every year about losing weight . . .

We're making a few changes here at Mystery Lover's Kitchen, too.  One of our members will be leaving us, and we'll miss her terribly. I'm not going to tell you who, though.  I'll let her do that in her final post this week.  She promises to come back frequently as a guest, and we're going to hold her to that!

Many of you have asked where Mary Jane has gone.  I'm sorry to say that her husband suffered a trauma during surgery.  His recovery is astounding his doctors, but not his family, who knew his strength and stamina.  We look forward to Mary Jane's return.  Sheila will continue to fill in for her until then.

Lucy Burdette at Mile Marker Zero!
But we have good news, too.  Two new bloggers will be joining us!  Lucy Burdette and Peg Cochran will be regulars here.  Lucy's new series about a food critic in Key West launches tomorrow!

What timing!  Key West is wonderful year 'round, but who doesn't want to be there right now?  Perfect for snuggling up by the fire in icy weather.

Peg Cochran
Peg's series won't debut until summer.  One is about a woman who makes gourmet diet food!  I can't wait to try some of those recipes.  But we won't restrict her to low cal recipes, because I happen to know she has some wonderful recipes that might not be totally slimming.  Peg will also be writing the Sweet Nothings Vintage Lingerie series as Meg London!

So, starting next week, look for a slightly different line-up around here.

I'm kicking off the year with a recipe from America's Test Kitchen.

As soon as I saw this recipe for something akin to a baked omelet, I had to try it.  I switched up the ingredients a little bit to suit me, but it's the sort of dish that can be tweaked to suit the preferences of your family and friends.  It's absolutely delicious, and while it looks like it uses a huge amount of eggs, it serves six people easily.  All those egg whites make it wonderfully light.

I used a sharp white cheddar cheese, but it would have been just as good with a hard white goat cheese, or perhaps an Asiago.  The original recipe calls for Gruyere. I also added garlic powder for a little extra garlic flavor, and a doubled the salt and pepper.

This recipe has several steps to it, but once you've made it, it's the sort of thing that doesn't require a lot of precise measurements and can be made without referring to the recipe.

Egg Roulade

canola oil or vegetable oil spray
5 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup water (for cooking spinach)
1/4 cup milk (I used fat-free)
2 tablespoon flour
10 large egg whites
5 large eggs
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/4 (or 1/2) teaspoon salt
1/8 (or 1/4) teaspoon pepper
2 ounces shredded cheese (I used sharp white cheddar)

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil an 18 x 13 rimmed baking sheet, spread with parchment paper, and lightly oil the paper as well.

Cook the baby spinach leaves with the water.  The recipe suggest doing this in the microwave, but a pot on the stove would work just as well.  Pour the spinach into a sieve and press out excess water.

Whisk milk and flour together.  In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites with the whole eggs, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the milk and flour mixture.

Pour into the prepared pan, top with spinach and grated cheese, and bake 11 minutes, until the eggs are just set, turning the pan halfway through.

Grasp a short end of the parchment paper and slowly roll the eggs into a tight roll.  (Hint: I found it easier to remove the parchment and eggs from the pan to roll them them.)

Slice to serve.


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