September 25, 2012

Nommy Cottage Cheese Muffins

Solly's is a bakery/deli that we used to frequent when we lived in Vancouver (I still pop in whenever I get the chance). They make unbelievably delicious bagels and knishes, and the chocolate babka loaf is to. die. for. 

One of our favourite Solly's specialties is also one of the simplest. Their cottage cheese muffins are light, hearty, and so satisfying; I suspect that's why they're often sold out by the time I get there. Whenever I've been forced to come home empty handed, I would try to soothe my disappointment by searching the internet for a similar recipe. Sadly, none of them seemed quite right, and were either low-carb (flourless) lumps, or were filled with unwanted embellishments.

I continued to do my research (meaning I consumed many, many muffins; such a hardship), did some tinkering, and after several years and many failed attempts, I think I've got it!!

The muffins are packed with protein, thanks to the eggs and cheeses, so they're a great way to start the day, and are the perfect snack food for hungry teens. Whenever I make them, my kids eat at least two in a sitting, and one of my son's friends polished off four in one go.

Several of the other versions called for sour cream as the liquid, but I've gone with buttermilk here. I think it helps keep them airy, and also brings the fat content down somewhat (I'm not a fan of low fat cooking, but why go overboard the other way if you don't have to?).

Cottage Cheese Muffins:

1/2  cup butter, melted
1     cup cottage cheese
1/2  cup buttermilk
3     large eggs, beaten
1     cup grated cheddar (I prefer old)
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4  finely ground cornmeal
1/2  teaspoon salt
3     tablespoons sugar
1     tablespoon baking powder
1/2  teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan (including the top).

Melt butter, and set aside to cool slightly. Combine next four ingredients in large mixing bowl. Stir in butter.

Sift dry ingredients together in a small bowl, then add to cheese/egg mixture. Stir just until combined (the batter will be quite thick). Distribute evenly between 12 standard muffin cups.

Bake until golden, 25 - 30 minutes.

Let the muffins sit in the pan for about 3 minutes (the steam will help them release from the pan).

I find these taste best when they're warm, not smoking hot from the oven, so let them cool for several minutes before serving. They can be warmed slightly in the oven (or microwave) the next day to freshen them up.

The resulting muffins are light and buttery, with just a hint of cornmeal crunch and sweetness. That said, they're definitely savoury, and would be perfect alongside a bowl of soup (though they're special enough to eat all on their own, which is what we usually do).

If you've had the Solly's version, I'd love to hear what you think. Whether they're an exact replica or not, these are definitely worth baking.

I hope you'll give them a try!


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