Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Apple Walnut Muffins

All day today, I had this terrible urge to bake. I think it had something to do with the fact that my stockpile of frozen muffins is long gone. I had a few things in mind that I wanted to make. Some took too long, others I was missing just one or two ingredients for. Still others were just not what I was looking for (even though I didn't know what I was looking for). I got more and more antsy when I had a sudden breakthrough.

I wanted something that wasn't already spelled out for me on paper. I wanted to make a muffin, and I wanted some ideas of what should go in it. I turned to How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and I found exactly what I needed - an adaptable muffin recipe. Mark Bittman is my hero, for real. I am no scientist, so I can't just go throwing things together in the kitchen and expect them to turn into a muffin. I used his basic muffin recipe and changed it around to satisfy my desires.

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
3 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp melted butter
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Directions: Bake in muffin cups at 400* until you stick in a toothpick and it comes out clean.

The resulting muffin was like a light, delicate cake. If you are looking for a cupcake, look elsewhere. It was almost like a biscuit or a slightly sweet bread. The apple strands were visible, but underrepresented flavor-wise. What a fascinating recipe this was... I can't stop thinking of variations. Different types of flour, different spices, different nuts and maybe fruits. Here, I will stick to some of the variations I would like to make using the apple/walnut flavor profile.
- Mini-muffins = tea cakes!
- Add spices (Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus spice blend?)
- More/different types of apple
- Grating with the skins on (particularly some deep red ones)
- Brown sugar... muscovado in particular
- Natural sweeteners (honey, agave nectar)
- Rolled oats

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