|Cream cheese muffins on waffles with strawberry-lemon marmalade|
Hmmmmm. No bread? No fun baked goods?
No freakin' pasta?
Besides the fact that this seems like torture to the Ninj (I have started calling it the Nazi Diet), it also presented me with some entertaining challenges. Big hearty pasta dishes and muffins or quick breads are staples for me when we have guests.
So I had to think outside of the box.
Or just ask my Facebook followers for recipe ideas, which is of course much easier.
And they didn't let me down!
To be fair, these aren't really muffins per se. But "baked cheese cup" doesn't seem quite right either, although likely more accurate.
When I made them for our Atkins guests, I adhered strictly to the original recipe: only cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. We at them plain, of course (no waffles as in the picture above, because the Nazi Diet forbids it), with some fruit (which I think is also Nazi Diet-forbidden but I didn't know that). While they were good, I felt that they needed a little bit of sweetness to really make them pop.
So the next time I made them (for the non-Atkins Mr. Ninj and myself), I added some confectioners sugar.
The taste and consistency is just like the center of a cheese danish, only slightly less sweet, which for me is a good thing. If you don't use silicone baking cups, they even develop a little bit of a cheesecake-like "crust" around the edges.
They are perfectly yummy to eat on their own but we really enjoy them spread onto a waffle and topped with some homemade marmalade.
As an added bonus, the consistency of these muffins is better when they are chilled, so they qualify as a make-ahead breakfast. Sweet.
So, how would you eat these cheesy muffin breakfast tidbits? The Ninj wants to know.
Cream Cheese Muffins (adapted from a recipe emailed to me by a Facebook follower, origin unknown to me)
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
scant 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds (remove it from the metallic paper first, please). Scrape cheese into a stand mixer, add the eggs, vanilla and sugar and beat until very smooth. Pour the batter into 12 muffins cups and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (pretty much exactly). Chill.
Serving suggestion: spread one muffin on a waffle or toasted bagel and top with jam or marmalade.