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eat like a champ

Like many people, this past week I stayed glued to my television, watching some Olympic champs break some records in the the wee hours of the night. My mornings were rough, with me looking rather rough around the edges but nothing sucks more than finding out the winner before you get to watch the footage. I’m in no way/shape/form an athletic girl nor a sports fan but how can you not get into the Olympic games? All that pride, ego, skill… It’s enough to make me want to drop out of school, slap on a swimsuit, and call myself an Olympic swimmer.

Ha. The mere thought of that makes me giggle. That coming from the girl who considers her hour of sweating on the elliptical machine to be strenuous enough.

As a kid, I always wanted to be an athlete. They got all the attention, all the glory and I just wanted a piece of that action. But then I realized that being an athlete entailed much more than meets the eye. Early wake up calls, hours in the gym, restrictive meal plans, overbearing managers, etc. No thanks, man.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the athletes competing in Beijing this year. Besides their athletic prowess, their dedication and intense focus stuns me. Nothing else matters for them. It’s like tunnel vision to that medal stand. I guess I can understand though. I get that same intense focus and look of determination when I see a new item at my favorite store. Trust me, you don’t want to mess with me when I’m on a mission. No child will be spared.

Anyways, during these late nights, I find myself pit-pattering into my kitchen, looking for a small bite of something. I get rather peckish when I stay up later, but if I eat anything too heavy before bed, my little tum will hate me in the morning. So, I decided to make these sour cream muffins, hoping that they’d quell those hunger pains of mine. The recipe is from my new favorite book, King Arthur Flour Whole Grain (which like Kristin predicted, is going to be a staple here).

The sour cream keeps the muffins light and fluffy, counteracting the somewhat heavy wheat flour. The recipe called for fresh fruit but I had no energy to peel my fresh apricots. Instead, I filled the muffins with some fruity jam and while they turned out great, I wish I would’ve put more jam in the center. If you don’t like sour cream, then these muffins are totally not for you, as you can taste the cream with every bite. Fresh fruit counteracts the tart cream but there is no way you can escape the cream here. Feel free to experiment with various fruits but I’d try to finely chop whatever fruits you use as this muffin isn’t meant to be rough texture wise.

I got a little creative after the jam ones came out and decided to use some toss-ins that I found lying around in my cupboards. I tossed in some chocolate chips in one half of the batter and in the other half, I put in some raisin. Both were tasty, but I think I preferred the chocolate chip ones. Duh, right?

I’m proud to report that I happily noshed on these muffins as I watched the US gymnasts win their individual medals, which by the way was one of the best rounds I have seen this past week. Phelps might kick ass in the pool, but can he flip around those beams and uneven bars like Nastia? Nah, didn’t think so.

Anyways, this muffins also lasted quite some time, and didn’t become dense or stale until about the 5th day. I sliced these babies in half, warming them in the oven and eating them night and day until I had to move on to other late night feasts. Welcome, glorious Trader Joe’s Middle Eastern Flatbread and homemade hummus. But that’s for another time…

Sour Cream Muffins
From King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

2 cups (8 ounces) white whole wheat flour
½ cup (2 and 1/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup ( 8 ounces) sour cream
1 and ½ cup (7 and ½ ounces) fresh or frozen berries
Course sugar for sprinkling

Lightly grease a muffin tin or line with papers and coat the papers with nonstick spray. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy and almost white in color. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Then, add the sour cream. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all the butter and sour cream are incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed just until the batter is smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once more, to be sure everything is evenly combined. Gently fold in the fruit and refrigerate at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Scoop the batter by the 1/4 –cupful into the prepared pan and sprinkle with sugar or other topping. Bake the muffins until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 26 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to finish cooing.

Yields 1 dozen muffins

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August 18, 2008 - 2:07 am

Kristin at The Kitchen Sink - It’s as though I can see the future! Ha. These look delicious (I love that second shot, in particular). I’d probably prefer the chocolate chip version too.

August 18, 2008 - 1:39 pm

joythebaker - I’ve had some late nights this week too! So much to watch. Seeing the women marathon runners might just have inspired to start training for the marathon next march. Maybe… just maybe. These muffins look lovely. I love what sour cream does to batter! Chocolate chips are definitely the way to go. Rock on girlie!

August 19, 2008 - 5:27 am

Megan - i’ve loved watching the Olympics also. Michael Phelps just amazing me, it almost makes me wish I would have stuck with swimming past highschool (ha, almost). Your muffins look delicious, my vote is definitely for chocolate chip!

August 19, 2008 - 7:58 am

fifrildi - Oh – I do need to try those! :D They look wonderful!

August 20, 2008 - 11:29 am

Piggy - I’ve been busy watching Olympics too!

Love the rustic looking muffins. Thanks for the recipes, I’ll try them out soon. :-)

March 23, 2009 - 1:36 am

fruit machines jamie - hey cheers for that… very informative – i’ve added your blog to my netvibes account – thanks :)

October 2, 2012 - 7:44 pm

Sara - I love this recipe! But….when do you add the sour cream, vanilla, and eggs? Do you add it to the butter after mixing the sugar? I am a baking novice but I think there is a step missing…

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