Happy New Year!
Yes, this post is several days late. Both Michael and I were off work over Christmas and without all the extra-curricular activities and responsibilities of our normal, day-to-day lives, I promptly became a relaxed sloth who read several trashy novels and completely lost track of what day of the week it was.
It was nice.
But! Yesterday the dayhome reopened and I suddenly realized that I had not made muffins – my go-to snack solution for the kiddos. I spent half an hour painstakingly removing seeds from enough (discount) grapes to feed six kids – because today’s modern children are unfamiliar with the concept of fruit having seeds – and swearing that the minute they went to bed, I would get back on the muffin train.
Sift in medium bowl
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Mix in blender
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 medium red apples, cored, unpeeled
1/4 cup nuts
Add wet to dry. Sprinkle unbaked muffins with cinnamon-sugar.
375F, 30 minutes. Makes 14 muffins.
Because I got caught with my pants down this week, the whole process was frustrating. I had to turn the whole wheat flour canister upside down and shake it to get the full half-cup. I kept getting the 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon measures mixed up (and I’m still not sure I didn’t put in double the baking soda by mistake). I had to send Michael to the store to buy milk. The only nuts I had available to use were peanuts.
I was very skeptical about the whole-apples-in-the-blender situation. I don’t have an apple corer, so I cut my apples in quarters, crossed my fingers, and threw them into the blender on the “mix” setting, which is one of the higher speeds. This part worked great – within a minute the apples and peelings were completely pulverized, the peanuts likewise, and the wet ingredients had pretty red flecks from the peelings. Clever! I like it!
Aside: This feels very much like the kind of recipe that comes with the instruction manual for a new appliance. Can’t you see the ad copy now? The Housewife’s Deluxe Super EZ Blender! Not just for drinks anymore!
I completely forgot the cinnamon-sugar, although given that these are meant to be healthy snacks for young children that’s probably not a bad thing.
Dorothy’s recipe said this makes 11 muffins, which is just wrong – I had enough batter to make 14 large muffins and one smallish one, and if I’d filled the muffin cups halfway instead of three-quarters I’d have had 16, easily.
All in all by the time these were in the oven I had very little faith that these would work out.
These muffins rose a ridiculous amount, thus fueling my conviction that I put in too much baking soda. Other possibility: I saw on some cooking show over the break that recipes with baking soda / baking powder need to rest for a few minutes after mixing, to give them time to form the air bubbles that help the batter to rise. Because I couldn’t find the right size muffin cups at first, this batter did rest and maybe that’s why they rose so much. No idea, although I am going to try that trick again to see if it works.
Thirty minutes was way too long; at the 15 minute mark they were already risen and starting to develop a crust. At 20 minutes they were basically done; I left them in for a couple of minutes more to let them brown up a little. Bottom line – watch these carefully.
When finished, they tasted just fine, if a trifle bland. I like the blender method; you get the fruit & fibre content of whole apples without any chunks or tedious chopping. That’s pretty slick.
Turns out I just do not like the taste of peanuts in muffins. To me, it was too overpowering.
Michael liked these just fine, and the texture is nice. I think I’d make them again, leaving out the nuts but maybe adding another small apple, and bumping up the seasoning all around – more cinnamon would be nice, and maybe a touch of vanilla.
Next week: Chunky Apple
Ingredients you may not have on hand: 1 tbsp. cream, 1/2 cup raisins