The Chef's Take: One Girl Cookies' Raspberry, Flax and Olive Oil Muffins

One Girl Cookies is one of Brooklyn’s most-beloved bakeries. Gem-size butter cookies, cream-filled whoopie pies, swirl-topped cupcakes and frosted layer cakes make this shop, located on a tree-lined street in Cobble Hill, an oasis of sweetness. Since opening in 2005, husband-and-wife team Dave Crofton and Dawn Casale have created a neighborhood spot for life’s most delicious treats and most precious milestones. Open its glass-paned door and a bell jingles — friends meet, couples fall in love and toddlers take their first steps. The couple have opened a second, larger cafe in Dumbo, have written a cookbook and are planning a third cafe for Industry City in Sunset Park for early 2015.

Crofton, the baker, has created a breakfast menu that offers all sorts of wonderful ways to start your day right: a fruit, granola and yogurt bowl (both the granola and the yogurt are made in-house), as well as muffins, scones, and savory and sweet breakfast breads. While he is a baker, he’s also mindful of serving a breakfast menu that's actually good for you. "I think about health a lot when I create breakfast recipes," says Crofton. "You can easily include whole grains in most breakfast muffins, breads, and scones. It makes them heartier and more filing, which is an important way to start the day."

In fact, Crofton uses whole-grain flour, oats and yogurt in his most of his morning baking to reduce fat and amp up the nutrition. He's also very generous with fruit: This recipe for Raspberry, Flax and Olive Oil Muffins contains nearly two cups of berries. "Fruit adds flavor, natural sweetness and nutrition to any recipe," he says. "It also makes things yummy."

Photo by: Kathi Littwin ©Copyright: Kathi Littwin

Kathi Littwin, Copyright: Kathi Littwin

Raspberry, Flax and Olive Oil Muffins
Makes 12 cupcake-size muffins
1/4 cup flax seed
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a good quality, fragrant olive oil)

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup full-fat plain yogurt
1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen raspberries *

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

Toast flax seeds in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

In a medium bowl, use a whisk to combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, use a rubber spatula to combine the olive oil, egg, sugar, brown sugar and yogurt. Mix until all of the ingredients are fully combined.

Add the cooled flax seeds and the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix with a rubber spatula just until you see a few small streaks of flour.

Gently mix the fruit into the batter. You don’t want to overmix the batter, or the berries will fall apart.

Scoop the muffin batter into the prepared muffin pan.

If you like a sweet top, sprinkle a pinch of granulated sugar on each muffin.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (depending on the size of the muffins you make). They are finished when they have a slight golden color on top and a cake tester inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

NOTE: You can use any type of fruit or berries that you like for this recipe. When using berries, frozen actually works better than fresh, because they will hold their shape as you mix them into the batter. If you have fresh berries, then you can easily freeze them overnight for this recipe.

Photo of Dawn Casale and Dave Crofton by Kathi Litwin. Muffin photo courtesy of One Girl Cookies.

Andrea Strong is a freelance writer whose work has appeared everywhere from The New York Times to Edible Brooklyn. She's probably best known as the creator of The Strong Buzz, her food blog about New York City restaurants. She lives in Queens with her two kids, her husband and her big appetite.

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