Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The "It's too early for chocolate" Muffins

The other evening I was taken with the creative spirit and decided to throw together (with a few alterations) a muffin recipe I found in my mom's recipe binder (I use the term loosely, since the spine of the rings is not bound to the spine of the cover and half the pages are not bound to anything). It was worth making off-the-cuff because I actually didn't have to do anything to the recipe to make it healthy enough that I wouldn't mind eating it for breakfast on a normal day and I had the essential ingredients.

Review: I thought they were okay. They weren't horribly flavorful, and I definitely appreciated the apple chunks I threw in there. The shocker, though is that my brothers LOVED THEM. To give you some context, these are the same brothers for whom I will make 50 cinnamon rolls in a sitting and they will come back a month and a half layer petitioning more. That meaning, that they have no aversion to sugar for breakfast (and snack and lunch and dinner, sometimes). But they really liked the subtle flavor of these muffins. My youngest brother (who isn't really a big eater in the first place) had two for breakfast and another for DESSERT. He told me he liked them better than my amazing and time-tested chocolate-chip muffins. Hear that, folks? BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE.

Another upside of these muffins is that if you have your oven on convection, they take like 10-15 minutes to bake, which is great if the designated baker (oh shoot, that was me) oversleeps and forgets to preheat the oven until half an hour before you have to leave.

So in the honor of those who are looking for something more toned-down, less sugary, and less time-consuming in the wee pre-school hours of the morning, I present:

Too-Early-For-Chocolate Muffins
(Or wheat-applesauce-honey muffins)
This is a good morning muffin because it's sweetness comes only from fruit and a little bit of honey. It has a pleasant but downplayed flavor. Makes 12 muffins but they're kind of chintzy (which is a cardinal sin around my house). Count on 11.

1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce (ok let's be honest: or a couple pieces of fruit you can peel and throw in the food processor. I used an apple and a pear.)
1 large egg
2 tbsp oil
1/3 cup honey
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 apple (peeled and diced)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp honey

0. If you're not using applesauce, peel your fruit except for one apple (you can use a potato peeler), slice it up, and blend it into the food processor until you get homogeneous mush. You should a little more than a cup. Don't worry if it's more watery that applesauce, because mine was.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine egg, oil, 1/4 cup honey, and fruit mush in a large bowl.
3. Mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in another bowl.
4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just to combine.
5. Peel your remaining apple and dice it into small chunks. In a small bowl, toss them with the 2 tsp honey and lemon juice to give them a little more kick. Mix them into your batter.
6. Divide the batter between 12 lined muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
7. Wrap in a napkin, bring in the car, and show off to the populace of your first class. ;)

A potato peeler works great on apples!

My pear-apple mush was significantly more watery than applesauce, but my batter turned out fine :)
The final batter

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