Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Keep Your Costco Confections!

I'm sure you know what I'm talking about when I mention the behemoth creation known as the Costco Muffin. Muffin... well, that's a misnomer to say the least! I mean come on... take a look at one of these suckers - each one tips the scales at 6oz minimum! Which is to say nothing for the calories each one manages to stuff inside. In one of their chocolate chip "mini cakes" (because really, this is not a real muffin) there is almost 700 calories and 38 grams of fat! Yeah, you knew that decadence didn't come cheap, right?

Don't get me wrong... I'm all for the occasional indulgence. God knows, when I was in my early teens (the 200+ years, I call them), I had way more than my fair share of "treats" (tubs of frosting and tubes of raw cookie dough, anyone?). Unfortunately, my sister has an insatiable love for these muffins, and when you factor in my *cough* irresponsible (not to mention diabetic) stepdad with a Costco card and what seems like nothing but time... well, lets just say that they're around a little bit more than a "sometimes food" should be. The "treat" mentality has been replaced by a sort of "entitlement" complex, fueled by the fact that she hardly eats a lunch at school and not at all while at home on breaks. Midday meals in the past few years turned from a sandwich or bowl of pasta (which I realize is not ideal, but it was the best we got into her!) into a NesQuik syrup slathered basin of double chocolate fudge with extra chocolate chips and sprinkles after a freezer-raiding frenzy around 3PM, or a "muffin" zapped in the microwave until the chocolate chips melted and became pools of chocolate oblivion.

There was no way in heck that I, as the lowly big sister, was going to be able to convince her to give up the habit of imbibing nothing but empty calories throughout the day, but I figured at the very least I could try to steer her away from the gluttony of Costco's treats. On the best days, Teaghan is leery of anything I bake (exception being my chocolate chip cookies) because I tend to "sneak" things in to try and boost some sort of nutritional content. Normally, with children, you can get away with things like what Jessica Seinfeld suggests in her book, but my sister has a palate that wine connoisseurs can only dream of. I'm talking specific ingredients here, not things as blatant as whole wheat flour instead of white in a batch of pancakes. For instance, she can tell if said pancakes were made with whole milk (which she abhors) instead of 1%, or if her cup of tea was steeped one minute longer than 3 minutes. She can even tell the difference in a heartbeat between Eggos and No Name frozen waffles (FYI, she only eats the No Name)! So to put things mildly, I was up against the Goliath of all challenges. I had to figure out a way to make something that she would choose to eat, but wasn't quite as lacking in the nutritional department.

Well, it just so happened that I had a partial container of vanilla yogurt in the fridge left over from making both the cherry sorbet and another (unreleased!!) frozen confection, and a vague rememberance of a buttermilk-based recipe for cranberry-lemon muffins stashed in the deep recesses of my baking recipe box. A few simple alterations to the recipe - yogurt for the buttermilk, melted butter for the oil, Nutri-Blend flour for the all-purpose and chocolate chips instead of the lemon zest and cranberries - and I had six supersized, slightly healthier snacks ready to face the judge.
Well, she ate them! Not only did she eat them, but she actually told me that she liked them and "could I make them again for her?". I don't think I have ever earned that kind of praise from her. Ever. This is a keeper - I know, I've made it three times already.

Rich Yogurt Muffins
Makes 6
1 1/2 cups flour (I used Nutri-Blend from Robin Hood)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup full-fat plain yogurt (I've been using nonfat vanilla with great success)
1/4 cup melted, salted butter
1 tbsp vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F, grease 6 jumbo muffin tins.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  3. In another large bowl, beat together sugar, egg, yogurt, butter and vanilla until light.
  4. Add the dry ingedients and mix quickly but gently to just moisten the ingredients.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes, or until they spring back when touched.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 384.0
Total Fat: 16.4 g
Cholesterol: 61.1 mg
Sodium: 86.7 mg
Total Carbs: 55.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Protein: 6.6 g


  1. Those look delicious! I'm glad your sister liked them and I'm even more glad that we don't have a Costco anywhere around here. ;)

  2. Good for you trying to get her off the Costco sweets, they are just so full of empty calories!

  3. Awesome! Get them off of those hideous things! :)


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