Sun-dried Tomato Cottage Cheese Muffins

I must be crazy… it’s the first hot day in forever and I want to fire up the oven??? Yes, it was a bit nuts but I had a need for these muffins and it just couldn’t be ignored.

There are a handful of foods that my husband requests I make on a regular basis. He is great about letting me try new things however I know the look in his eye when he is wishing that I would just make something familiar. I think that we could have these every week and not get sick of them.

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There are several reasons why I believe these baked goods will always be a “go-to” recipe for me:

  • The ingredients – They are mostly basic pantry items or items that are fairly inexpensive to purchase. I always have sun-dried tomatoes on hand since I buy the massive jars at Costco. I just can’t bring myself to pay what the grocery stores want for those itty bitty jars. On the “good for you” side of the equation these are high in “good” fats and one muffin is 1/4 of your protein for the day.
  • They can very easily be made gluten-free – There is a minimal amount of flour that could be subbed with a GF alternative. While we are not currently  more of our friends are moving this direction.
  • The smell – Anything that lest you chop sun-dried tomatoes with fresh basil is a winner in my book.
  • Ease of assembly – you chop a few things up, throw it all into a bowl, mix it up and Bam! your done!

I love baking with almonds. They add great flavor and you get to decide wether you want finely ground almond flour, or if you would prefer a few almond chunks in your muffins. I think a little chunk adds great texture.

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The Star Tool: My manual food processor. It cut up the basil and sun-dried tomatoes, it measured the cottage cheese, and I whipped the eggs in it. I would like to think that Alton Brown would approve.

The batter is so colorful and full of savory goodness! I actually only added a splash of water, my tomatoes had a good amount of oil in them and they turned out plenty moist.

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I LOVED using my Medium Scoop to fill the muffin cups. I still managed to make a bit of a mess but not anything like I normally would. Next time I will not use paper, it stuck really bad and was next to impossible to get out cleanly.

I made a double batch and since I am impatient I decided to make some in the Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan as well. I’m so glad I did! The muffins are on the heavy side because of all the almonds and having them bite size was perfect, both for me and Norah who has been inhaling them.

The mini tart pan should have come out a bit sooner but because these muffins are so moist it didn’t really matter that they where a little brown on the bottom.

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Other tools used: Cheese grater, bamboo fiber bowl. spatula

Sun-dried Tomato Cottage Cheese Muffin

The original recipe calls for soy flour (great for people looking for a gluten-free option), you could use whatever works for you, I used white whole wheat flour .To grind the almonds, pulse them in my food processor until they where to my desired consistency. You want it to be flour-like but still have a few chunks. Don’t over process or it could turn into almond paste.

1 cup plain cottage cheese (low-fat is fine)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup flour (see headnotes)
1 cup almonds, very finely ground
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (in oil), finely chopped
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup water – (I would wait and add after mixed as needed)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a muffin pan with medium-sized paper baking cups, you’ll need nine of them.

Put the cottage cheese into a bowl with all but 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, water, and eggs, and season with salt, then mix all together.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups 3/4 full, scatter with the remaining Parmesan, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set, risen, and golden brown. I would check at 20 minutes and reduce cooking time if you are using a mini-muffin pan.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 9 muffins.

Nutrients per serving: Calories 193.5, Total Fat 11.2 g, Sat Fat 3.2 g, Cholesterol 117.5 mg, Carbohydrate 10.3 g, Protein 13.4 g, Sodium 505.5 mg, Fiber 1.6 g Sugars 1.6 g Potassium 173.1 mg