* Try these guys with a cup of coffee or tea! Who would have thought you could make muffins with olive oil? YUM!
3/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese or reduced-fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Note)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
3/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
1 cup low-fat or nonfat buttermilk
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped dried figs
3 tablespoons turbinado (see Note) or granulated sugarPREPARATION
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners or coat with cooking spray.
Thoroughly combine goat cheese (or cream cheese), honey, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
Whisk flour (see Measuring Tip), baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Lightly beat eggs and egg white in a medium bowl; add brown sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and whisk until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in buttermilk and oil until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in figs.
Spoon half the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Add 1 generous teaspoon of the reserved cheese filling to the center of each muffin, and cover with the remaining batter. (The filling should not be visible.) Sprinkle the muffins with sugar.
Bake the muffins until the edges start to brown and the tops spring back when gently pressed, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
TIPS & NOTES
Make Ahead Tip: Individually wrap the muffins and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, remove plastic wrap, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30-45 seconds.
Ingredient notes: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available in large supermarkets and at natural-foods stores. (Or find it online from bobsredmill.com or kingarthurflour.com.) Store it in the freezer.
Turbinado sugar is steam-cleaned raw cane sugar. It’s coarse-grained and light brown in color, with a slight molasses flavor. Find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores.
Measuring tip: We use the “spoon and level” method to measure flours. Here’s how it is done: Use a spoon to lightly scoop flour from its container into a measuring cup. Use a knife or other straight edge to level the flour with the top of the measuring cup.
Per muffin: 272 calories; 9 g fat ( 2 g sat , 6 g mono ); 39 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrates; 20 g added sugars; 6 g protein; 3 g fiber; 239 mg sodium; 184 mg potassium.