But before I tell you more about the muffins, I really want to thank all of you who are out there reading my ramblings and letting me inspire you to cook - I have gotten more notes than I ever expected from people who are actually interested in what I have to say! And for those of you who don't know me in real life, I'd love to hear from you, too - feel free to comment on the blog or write to me at my new e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to know how my recipes turned out for you, if you made any changes that worked (or didn't work!), other recipes you think I might like, or just general thoughts :)
The reason now seemed like the right time to mention my wonderful readers is that not one, but two of you thought of me when you saw this muffin recipe, and I am so appreciative! Mark Bittman wrote an article in the NY Times about how to make whole wheat muffins actually taste good instead of heavy and chewy. Upon close inspection, this recipe is admittedly not as healthy as most of my muffin recipes - there's a little extra sugar and a half cup (one whole stick!) of butter. But they do include 100% whole wheat flour instead of a refined flour mix, and have fruit or veggies in them, and butter is a wholesome ingredient that really isn't evil in moderation, so I thought they were worth a try. Plus, I actually worry that my munchkin eats a diet that's too low in fat, so this is a good recipe for her.
The beauty of this recipe is that it's flexible - you can use the base for whatever kind of whole wheat muffins you want - read Bittman's article for more ideas! I chose to make an apple version, and they are amazing. As it turns out, there's a reason people who make yummy food use lots of butter - there is no taste quite like it! These muffins are moist, light, and leave a hint of butter in your mouth, but are not greasy like so many of the muffins you'll buy. And just like other muffins, they freeze and defrost beautifully, so they're perfect to have onhand. I would be interested in reducing the butter and/or sugar a bit, though, so I may experiment in the future - please let me know if you have any ideas on the best way to make modifications!
I think hubby's getting a little bored of taking pictures of muffins!!
Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
adapted from the NY Times
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup sugar (you may need more if using a veggie that's not sweet)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 rounded teaspoon cinnamon (optional, or replace with another spice if using another fruit/veggie)
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted unsalted butter
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or whatever fruit or vegetable you want)
1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt (I always have plain whole milk yogurt around, so that's what I used, but low fat should work, too!)
1/2 cup apple, peeled and diced into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces (I think I may have been closer to 2/3 cup and that was still ok; use whatever add-in you want)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare 12 regular or 24 mini-muffin cups by spraying with oil or lining with muffin cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, apple sauce, egg and yogurt. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and fold together; add apple pieces and stir until just combined.
Fill muffin tins or liners with batter. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes for regular muffins (18-20 minutes for mini-muffins) or until muffins are puffed and turning golden brown on top. Serve warm if possible, or freeze once cool and warm in microwave just before serving.
Makes 12 regular or 24 mini-muffins