I try to steal away an hour or so of each weekend to make breakfast ahead of time for most of the upcoming week. Muffins, waffle batter, scones, kolache… something to make our early week rush a little more efficient. Something we can grab with one hand as we’re locking the door and rushing out to preschool/work/running/gymnastics/errands.
But the time Saturday rolls around, we’re totally ready to send the munchkin to the play room while we watch from the other side of the glass with our spicy chicken biscuits and fruit cups. Breakfast of champions
The first signs of spring hit southeast Texas nearly two months ago. We swam (with a leeeettle help from the pool heater), we started putting in this year’s spring garden plants, and we hit up a nearby farm to pick strawberries.
My husband took one look in the fridge, one look at me, and then walked away with the “at least it’s [strawberries] and not cats” face. His Daddy To-Do List while I was gone was two items long: 1) Make sure she really brushes her teeth, not just licks off the toothpaste and 2) Eat as many strawberries as humanly possible. And then eat a few more.
The first thing we did was make fresh strawberry muffins. Last year, we made countless batches of Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins with our strawberry haul… but they’re a little less figure friendly than I’d like. We took our favorite muffin recipe, lightened it a bit, and added plenty of those “must eat tomorrow” strawberries. The resulting muffin is moist and tender, and studded with juicy chunks of ripe strawberries.
When strawberry season rolls around to your side of town, grab a bucket. Or to unlock the Hoarder Badge, 4 buckets. And your muffin pan.
A lighter muffin studded with fresh strawberry chunks.
3 cups + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
Generous 1 1/2 cup chopped strawberries (~8 oz by weight, after hulling)
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling tops (optional)
Preheat oven to 400
Mix 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in medium bowl; set aside.
Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition followed by the vanilla and almond extract.
Beat in half of dry ingredients, followed by a third of the yogurt.
Add remaining dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the yogurt, until incorporated.
Toss strawberries with the remaining 1 Tbsp flour and add to the mixer, mixing for just a few more seconds to distribute evenly (the batter will be very, very thick).
Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or line with paper liners.
Divide the batter evenly among cups, using a large cookie scoop (my scoop is ~2.25 inches across).
Sprinkle tops lightly with coarse sugar, if using.
Bake for 8 minutes and then decrease oven temperature to 375 and bake for ~12 more minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing and cooling completely.
With a bounty (15 lbs!) of beautiful Texas grapefruit, Grapefruit Scones were one of the first things on my list to tackle after we replaced our broken oven. I wanted a simple cream scone, studded with grapefruit, that wasn’t to sweet and not too terrible for my waistline.
I started with the Basic Cream Scone from Cook’s Illustrated. And then I kind of hit it with a wrecking ball.
What usually makes a scone so melt-in-your-mouth tender is fat, usually from butter and cream. I don’t know about you, but those are two of my favorite food groups I knocked out 75% of the heavy cream and replaced it with fat-free greek yogurt and grapefruit juice, two items that would keep the batter thick and flavorful. In addition to flavor, the small chunks of cold butter also contribute to lift and texture so I increased the baking powder after reducing the butter just a bit.
The upside: You still get that crumbly scone goodness, with significantly less fat.
The downside: Without all the extra fat to keep them moist, they don’t keep as long (2-3 days vs 4-5+)
I added a generous dose of chopped grapefruit and zest, and just a little extra sugar to help offset the bitterness from the fruit (my husband required a drizzle of honey at breakfast to make his even sweeter). And there’s no mistaking that each bite belongs to a grapefruit scone
Slightly sweet, tender scones studded with grapefruit.
1 ruby red grapefruit
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces or grated
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp fat-free Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp coarse sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 450.
Zest half the fruit to get 1 Tbsp (unpacked) zest.
Cut the tops and bottoms of the grapefruit off.
Remove the peel and pith with a knife and cut the grapefruit segments from the membranes over a bowl to catch the juice.
Cut each segment into 2-3 pieces and set a side.
Squeeze the leftover membranes into the bowl. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the grapefruit juice and discard the rest.
Pulse the sugar, zest, flour, baking powder, and salt a few times in a food processor.
Add the butter and pulse until the butter is about the size of peas.
Transfer to a mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, stir together the 2 Tbsp grapefruit juice, heavy cream, and yogurt.
Add the yogurt mixture and grapefruit segments to the dry ingredients, stirring until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangle 1-inch thick.
Cut in quarters and cut each rectangle diagonally.
Refrigerate 15 minutes.
Top with sugar and bake 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.
Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
Store for a couple of days in an airtight container. Warm for 10-12 seconds in the microwave before serving.
Yields: 8 servings
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated's Cream Scones
Estimated time: 45 minutes
Calories: 238.5 | Fat: 8.5g | Fiber 1.3g | Protein 5.2g | Carbs 34.9
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6