Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dream Date Muffins

I like to peruse recipes.  I pin stuff, I look at blogs, go to Food Network and all that jazz just like you guys to see if something sparks an idea.  Rarely do I ever see a cooking show where I say "I must try that recipe asap."  Yet something about this past episode of The Pioneer Woman making her daughter her great grandma's prune cake piqued my interest.  I don't know if it was the nostalgia of making a family recipe, that she was making it for her daughter's birthday, that she said it tasted like Christmas and I'm a Christmas freak but I knew I needed to make it like, now.

I couldn't wrap my head around prunes but I thought "what about dates?  They're a new favorite."  Then I saw the icing and knew I could come up with something equally tasty but for less calories.  I wanted portion control because if this really was as Christmas-y tasting as she said, I would dive head first into it and never look back.  Now I knew for the Mr's co-workers to even give these a chance, I would have to tweak the name so I'd need to be crafty and more importantly...vague.

Not only do these taste like Christmas just like Ree said but the glaze I used on these gave them a little extra spike of Christmas and I can't believe you can pop 2 of these babies for breakfast and clock in at 240 calories.

Let's do this!

Dream Date Muffins
(Makes 24)

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 cup dates, pitted
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 oz spiced cider

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a saucepan, cover dates with water.

Bring to a boil and cook until soft.  I peeled off the skins.  (They had pretty much split off anyway so it doesn't take much to peel them off the rest of the way.)

Drain and mash them up on a plate and set aside until you're ready to use them.

In a bowl, sift dry ingredients.

Since it was stressed what a delicate batter this can be, I like to do my egg beatin' in another bowl so as not to upset the baking gods.


Mix together applesauce, sugar, and eggs.  Combine wet and dry ingredients, add the buttermilk and vanilla and stir until just combined. 

Throw in the mashed dates and fold into batter being careful not to overmix.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into cupcake tins.

Bake for 28-30 minutes. Do not overbake!

While cake has five minutes remaining, make the glaze.  In a small bowl, combine cider and powdered sugar.

Remove cupcakes from oven and drizzle glaze on immediately.

Allow to rest and serve warm if possible but they taste good at any temperature.

I'm SO making these for my family and not telling them what's in them.  :-)

Nutritional Information per muffin:  Calories 120  Total Fat 1  Cholesterol 24mg  Sodium 40mg  Potassium 99mg  Total Carbs 27g  Fiber 2g  Sugars 20g  Protein 2g   Vitamin A 1%  Vitamin C 1%  Calcium 2%  Iron 3%

Original Prune Cake Recipe (divided into 24 slices): Calories 225  Total Fat 12g  Sat Fat 2g  Poly Fat 3g  Mono Fat 6g  Cholesterol 28g  Sodium 102mg  Potassium 70mg  Total Carb 29g Fiber 1g Sugars 20g Protein 2g  Vitamin A 3%  Calcium 3%  Iron 3%

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  1. Oh! I am SO making these!!!! Ever since my middle eastern neighbor brought me some fresh, delicious dates a few weeks ago, dates have been my new fave! Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Girl, you will love 'em! If they give you any toward the holiday season, bake some up (or give them the recipe!) as a thank you.

  2. Yum!! i love dates and its nice to see so many date recipes!!!

    1. I only recently came to like them and this is a perfect way to use those babies!

  3. Wow - yummy. I'm going to put this in my "to try" file and make them to take to work nearer Christmas.

    1. They smell like Fall too...just in case you can't wait that long. ;)

  4. OMG, I pinned this recipe(LOVE Pioneer Woman--we had her pizza burgers last night--might be the reason the scale showed a gain this morning)for the Prune cake too, and thought to myself, that sounds really moist and good and if teenaged girls like it, it must be okay even with PRUNES?! But I also realized it was probably not something I should have around the house! One of my favorite treats when I was a kid was my Mom's date nut bread which she made exclusively at Christmas. I never make it of course, for obvious reasons, but have missed it. So glad you found a way to make a lightened version of Ree's cake. I pin recipes (like you, I LOVE to look at recipes), some that I know I will never make, and some that I know I SHOULD never make because they are so high caloried. The prune cake was one of those I fear, so THANKS for helping me out. I'm definitely going to try this! Thanks for adding the "Pin" option to your recipes. Makes my life easier!

    1. I think this will be a perfect way to enjoy that bit of decadence without feeling guilty about it. When the Mr realized they were only 120 calories per muffin he gave me a look like "do I have to take these to work?" HA! But I will likely make some to freeze and add some chia seeds for a little protein/fiber bump.

  5. I am going to have to try these. I am ALWAYS looking for yummy on-the-go breakfast ideas!

    1. I think you'll love these and I'm hoping to make more so I can freeze them and just pull one or two out the night before and be ready to go the next morning.

  6. Wow I am in love low in calories and fat that's my perfect combination.. I can eat three and not feel guilty I will be making these muffins as my morning snack!!!

    1. Exactly! I think these are going to become a new favorite for you! I know they are for us.

  7. TWO for 240 calories?! Want. Now. I love muffins for breakfast, but it's hard to get them to taste good and be a reasonable amount of calories too. But I bet with the applesauce and dates, these are super super moist and yummy!

  8. Muffins that taste like Christmas?!? Sign.me.up.

  9. When I saw 'prune cake' in the first paragraph, I jumped straight to the link. Prune cake was my mother's family's traditional birthday cake, and I still have the recipe for my grandmother's version. It was more of a spice cake with a prune sauce filling and brown sugar icing, unless you made a special request to have the filling frost it too. I LOVE prunes, in any form. Your date muffins sound yummy too, and I'll get around to trying them soon I expect. If you are a new fan of dates, I should send you my grandmother's date roll candy recipe. But I'm pretty sure there's no way to make it low-cal, lol.


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