From this week: whole wheat flour
From weeks past: jonagold apples, almond milk (thank god I finished that horrendous stuff!)
Staples: whole wheat flour (it's a staple that I replenished this week), sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, butter, egg
I had fish sticks for dinner last night. Yes, fish sticks. Dipped in Heinz chili sauce.
My head says ick, but my mouth says yum.
I wanted to cook, but when I got home from running errands (which included a 15-minute-turned-hour-long drive to the mall) and saw my Mad Men season 3 disk 2 Netflix package in my mailbox, I knew that I could not let my stomach interfere with my enjoyment of Don Draper's pretty face and Peggy's upward mobility. When I'd had my fill of the ad boys (and girl), I decided to make muffins.
Faced with some sad and mealy macintosh apples a few weeks back, I made these. They turned out awesome. Experimenting, I put some away in the freezer, and they became a great mid-morning work snack. I'd take one out and put it in my purse in the morning, and by 9:00 or so, it'd be perfectly thawed. I even found I liked the cold and moist interiors better than their room temp counterparts.
Well, apparently I'm doomed to forever purchase mealy apples. Maybe it's that Virginia apples aren't good. Whole Foods usually has big bags of local apples, and they get me every time. Or maybe, if I want to buy local, I should shop at the farmers' market instead of heaven - er, Whole Foods. Regardless, the last three batches of apples I've bought have been beautiful on the outside, soft and gritty on the inside. Yuck.
So I made the apple muffins and several batches of applesauce with nothing but a touch of lemon zest and cinnamon. It might've been the six frozen wands of fish mush and red spiced corn syrup I'd just consumed, or maybe it was that I've been eating at least one of the frozen muffins daily for the past 3 weeks, but something motivated me to make the recipe a little healthier. I'm not usually one to health up baked goods with weird substitutions, but since I had the applesauce, and since it was homemade, and since I was making apple muffins anyway, I decided to sub applesauce for half of the butter. Then, because the applesauce was delightfully (and naturally) sweet and the recipe already called for a crunchy brown sugar top, I cut out some of the white sugar.
They came out slightly (and I mean SLIGHTLY) less moist than the original buttery recipe, but they're pretty damn good. And, after a muffin or two (or 5, if you count batter), I felt I had sufficiently out-healthed the fish sticks settling in my stomach. That means, if I'm going to have a muffin snack, I can have sour patch kids for breakfast, right?
Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt (or make your own buttermilk with 1 tbsp vinegar added to regular/soy/almond milk)
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 425. Mix together the flours, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon. Cream butter, granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg and applesauce. Slowly add milk/buttermilk/yogurt. Mix in dry ingredients. Fold in apples. Fill muffin cups almost full (they don't rise much). Sprinkle the tops with the reserved brown sugar. Bake until brown, about 13-17 minutes. Makes about 12 muffins (or 14, if you're dumb like me and decide to save a tiny bit of batter for a second batch).