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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Muffins -- New Recipe!

Did you know there’s such a thing as “too apple-y?” According to the kids, that was the problem with version one of this recipe. The truth is, this recipe took three versions to get it to the level of “blog-worthy.” It’s ok, though, because I get so excited about researching, experimenting and perfecting the recipes to be the perfect balance of healthy and tasty that I often can’t think about anything else. Is that weird?

Taylor: “Jenny, what are we doing tomorrow?”
Me: “Baking apple muffins! Yay!”
Taylor: (sigh) “Again? How many do we really need?” (There were at least 36 already cooling on the counter.)
Me: “OK, then let’s eat these.”
Taylor: “They’re too apple-y.”

I rest my case. The Apple Cinnamon muffin recipe simply had to be refined. It wasn’t blog-worthy…yet. The first batch was too apple-y and the second batch was too dense. Not what I was after.

Evidently, there are several schools of thought when it comes to making muffins. My research was pretty much split 50/50 between people who preferred the “muffin method” and those who favored the “cake method.” The difference is this – for the muffin method, you combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ones in another. Combine them, stir to just mix, and bake immediately. For the cake method, you cream the fat and sugar, add the eggs, and then add the liquid and flour alternately. Since I use applesauce instead of shortening, “creaming” doesn’t work as well. So this time, I went for the muffin method….which is so much easier anyway!

These muffins are quick and easy, and they are perfect for apple season. They remind me a little bit of apple pie, but they are so much lighter! This recipe makes 12-18 muffins, depending on how full you fill the muffin cups. I prefer larger ones, so I’m not tempted to eat two. The recipe makes 18 muffins at 90 calories each or 12 muffins at 135 calories each. Either way, they’re a perfect, light breakfast. They just taste like autumn. Yum!

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
(makes 12-18)

1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg, beaten
1 cup skim milk
2 medium sweet-crisp apples (like Gala, Fuji, Jonagold, etc.), diced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients (through baking powder) in a large mixing bowl. Mix to distribute. Mix applesauce, egg and milk in a separate bowl. Peel, core and dice apples. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Fold in diced apples. Immediately fill muffin cups. I fill them 2/3 full for smaller muffins or almost to the top for larger ones. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs. Enjoy!

Me (to my boss): “So, how was your weekend?”
Steve: “It was great – I biked 30 miles, went to the Darius Rucker concert, and then caught some live tennis on Sunday. How was yours? Did you and Keith do anything fun?”
Me: “Yes! We painted the bookshelves, helped Courtney with her book report and made six batches of muffins! ”
Steve (with an eye roll): “You guys really need to get out more.”

Perhaps he has a point.

The Svelte Gourmet: A Month of Main Courses cookbook is available at www.thesveltegourmet.com/products.html. It's a perfect holiday gift!

1 comment:

Me said...

I made these just the other day and they came out great. I used braeburn apples because it is what I had. I also substituted whole wheat flour and they still tasted delicious. Thanks for the great recipe. I plan on trying it with blueberries next time (my two year old LOVES blueberries).