Last week I received an e-mail from the crew at Desserts Magazine letting me know that I had won the giveaway for a new super awesome kitchen scale, the Escali Pana Scale to be exact. I love my old one but it is jut your average run of the mill kitchen scale but this one has a new amazing feature. You can measure out cups or tablespoons of flour or 98 other ingredients without lifting a spoon, or should I say a measuring spoon. With this scale, you push the volume button, enter in the number of the ingredient on the numeric keypad, watch the display until you get the correct number of cups or tablespoons. No more spooning and leveling, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
I have been dying to bake something since last night when the UPS man delivered my new kitchen scale. So, after I finished some much needed house cleaning, I looked through my fridge and pantry to see what I could put together. I found a large container of ricotta and a partial bag of almonds. I decided to see what I could throw together in muffin form with these ingredients and came up with these muffins.
The ground almonds give the muffins a little chewiness while the buttermilk and ricotta add the tenderness. The muffins aren't really that sweet, which is the way I like things. The almond glaze on top is what gives them most of their sweetness. You could add a few more Tablespoons of sugar if you really wanted a sweeter muffin but I think that combination of the lightly sweet muffins and the super sweet glaze really balance out the whole muffin.
Almond Ricotta Muffins
1 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 cups Almond meal** (See notes below on how to make your own)
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Ricotta
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 TBS. Milk
1/4 cup (4TBS. , 1/2 stick) Butter, melted
1/2 tsp. Almond extract
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Glaze (recipe Follows)
1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease muffin pan, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
3. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, ricotta, buttermilk, milk, butter and extracts, stirring to combine.
4. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined. Scoop mixture into the muffin pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are golden and the tip of a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the muffin. Remove from pans to a cooling rack and let cool.
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 Tbs. Milk
1. In a bowl combine all ingredients adding the milk slowly to form a glaze that is thick enough to drizzle. Drizzle over the cooled muffins.
**Making your own almond meal is easy and a lot cheaper than buying it in the store. Just take a small saucepan and fill with water. Heat to boiling. Throw a few handfuls of almonds into the boiling water and boil for a minute or two. Turn the heat off and let sit for another minute. Pour the almonds through a strainer. Take the skins off each almond by lightly squeezing them, the skins should just pop off. Return the almonds to the pan and turn the heat back on for another minute just to dry the almonds off. Stir them and watch them carefully, you don't want burnt almonds! Put the almonds into a food processor or blender with 2 TBS. of powdered sugar and process until it is finely ground. Be careful not to over process, you don't want a paste, the powdered sugar should help to prevent that. Measure and use as needed.**