I can no longer call these Lemon Ricotta Biscuits, because the changes I made have altered the predominant flavor. It's not lemon any more-- it's almond. So I'm renaming these wonderful little muffins to reflect that fact. I used some almond meal for part of the flour; and, instead of using all-purpose flour, I used white whole wheat. I also subbed Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend for the butter and subbed stevia for half of the sugar, making these gems a bit more nutritious... which is good, because I intend to eat them all up. The almond flavor is intense in these moist, dense scone-like muffins. I added some frozen blueberries to half and made half plain, and I like them both ways. Finally, I've finished them off with a delicious almond-oat streusel that brings them over the top. This recipe is a keeper and one that I'll definitely make again and again. P. S. You can find the original recipe on Food Network's website.
Additional notes: If you want to make these with almond meal, but don't have any, just throw some almonds in your food processor, blender or coffee mill and grind away. Almond-Ricotta Muffins
Adapted 1/2 Recipe from Food Network
1/4 cup Smart Balance 50/50 Butter Blend
1/2 cup sugar (I subbed Stevia for half)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
1/2 egg (1-1/2 Tbsp.)
2 Tbsp. fat-free half and half or milk
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbsp. almond meal + enough white whole wheat flour to equal 1 cup
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 Tbsp. lemon zest
Preheat oven to 400F.
In medium microwaveable bowl, heat the SB on high till it melts, about 45 seconds. Cool slightly. Add sugar and beat well with wire whip. Add ricotta, egg, half and half, lemon juice and almond extract and beat well till thoroughly combined and smooth. In small bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients and stir well to thoroughly mix. Add all at once to wet ingredients, stirring just to combine. (Add frozen, fresh or dried fruit if desired.) Divide batter equally among 6 muffin cups that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Crumb Topping: 1 Tbsp. Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend
2 Tbsp. sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. oats
1 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
In small microwaveable bowl, melt the SB on high about 25 seconds. Stir in remaining ingredients with fork till everything is mixed together. Divide topping equally among 6 muffins, pressing into tops slightly.
Place muffins in oven and immediately reduce heat to 350F. Bake about 20 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted in center returns with just a few crumbs. Cool in pans 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to finish cooling. Yield: 6 muffins