Tuesday, May 18, 2010

When In Doubt, Make Muffins

One of the best things about muffins is that they are pretty much infinite in their possibilities. Add salt, cheese, bacon and onions or herbs and you've got yourself a dinner side, drizzle in maple syrup and nuts for breakfast, or go all-out with chocolate chips and candied fruit for a dessert. Because they're lightning-fast to pull together, too, they're a great vehicle for what I like to call the "use-up" phenomenon. There's nothing better to slake a sweets craving mid-morning than a slightly sweet, dense batter crammed to the brim with spices and fruit!

While at the Club, I made gads of different muffins to stem the tide of all the assorted produce we had from turning all at once. While all of them were eaten one way or another over the weeks, there were a handful of each kind that became favourites with the staff, and forced me to figure out the actual recipes I was making rather than simply tossing ingredients into a bowl and stirring. A couple of trial-and-error episodes later and I hit it on the head (again) with these three apple-packed snacks that went a long way to emptying the giant box!

Eggless Apple - Coconut Muffins
Makes 18
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups soy milk
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 peeled apples, finely diced
1 peeled apple, sliced into 18 wedges
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar, oil, vanilla and milk until well blended.
  3. Add both flours, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Stir until just combined, then fold in the coconut and the diced apples.
  5. Spoon evenly into muffin tin. Top each cup of batter with 1 apple wedge.
  6. Bake 20 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 138.1
Total Fat: 4.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 38.3 mg
Total Carbs: 25.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
Protein: 3.4 g

Super Apple Raisin Muffins
Makes 18
5 large apples, peeled & chopped finely
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 1/4 cups raisins (soaked in boiling water and drained)
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, grease 18 muffin cups.
  2. Mix apples, sugar, honey, and raisins in a bowl, let stand 30 minutes.
  3. Add oil, vanilla and egg, stirring well.
  4. Add flours, baking soda, baking powder and spices to the apple mixture, stir just enough to moisten dry ingredients.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 183.8
Total Fat: 3.8 g
Cholesterol: 11.8 mg
Sodium: 5.4 mg
Total Carbs: 37.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Protein: 2.5 g

Wholesome Creamy Apple Muffins
Makes 18
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp pie spice
½ cup cream cheese
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 oz silken tofu, pureed
1 cup sour cream
2 large apples, peeled and diced
1/3 cup raisins, soaked in hot water and drained
½ cup toasted buckwheat kernels (kasha)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F, grease 18 muffin cups and set aside.
  2. Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spice, set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the cream cheese, sugar and honey.
  4. Add the tofu, beating well, then add the sour cream and blend thoroughly. Stir in the dry ingredients, then fold in the apple chunks, raisins and kasha.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 166.0
Total Fat: 5.4 g
Cholesterol: 12.7 mg
Sodium: 29.5 mg
Total Carbs: 27.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Protein: 3.6 g