One of my coworkers recently took a trip to Morocco, so it was rather serendipitous that this Moroccan-inspired muffin was one of the 750 in my book. Yes, these are the things I consider serendipitous. Relevant muffins.
Couscous Date Muffins (37 of 750)
Adapted from 750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury
Makes 40 mini muffins
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a small bowl, combine couscous and boiling water. Cover with a plate and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, egg, yogurt, and apricot preserves until well blended.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in couscous and dates.
- Divide the batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with crumble and gently press into batter.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.
These muffins remind of the quinoa ones I made a while ago – slightly sweet with a wonderfully chewy texture. There’s only 1/2 a cup of sugar, but there’s plenty of sweetness from the dates and the fruit preserves. The recipe in the book called for orange marmalade, but I only had apricot preserves on hand, which worked just as well. I added some cinnamon and cloves to amp up the Moroccan flavor – allspice would be great too.
Much like the quinoa muffins, it might seem like there’s too much couscous, but it really is the perfect amount. These aren’t muffins with a hint of couscous – the grain takes front and center.
Muffins like these are one of my favorite things about baking. With the right ingredients, you can transport yourself somewhere else entirely, even if only for a moment.