Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Anniversary" Apple Muffins

I love when the weather turns and it finally begins to feel like fall. My friends and I drove up to Julian, CA last weekend to celebrate the season by picking apples from the local orchard. Unfortunately, there was a drought this year which made for very slim pickings. Fortunately for us, the orchard provided barrels of pre-picked apples to supplement our bags of hand-picked ones. Thanks Calico Ranch!

I did find a beautiful apple blossom on our quest and have high hopes for next year's expedition. When I arrived home with my bag of apples and began to think of ideas on how to use them, I realized that my very first blog post was after I went apple picking in Julian last year. Happy almost birthday blog!

I decided to make some apple cinnamon muffins this year instead of the classic pie option. I used honey in my recipe, but you can substitute maple syrup for an extra kick. The large proportion of apples to flour in the recipe makes for extremely moist muffins. I pureed the apples in a food processor to be about the size of rice before incorporating them into the batter. If you don't have a food processor, you can simple grate them through a cheese grater or chop them finely. While still warm, I coated the tops of the muffins in cinnamon sugar. Yum yum!

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
makes about 24

2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 eggs
6 apples, peeled and pureed/grated
2 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (optional, can substitute nutmeg, ginger, allspice, etc.)

1. Mix first four ingredients by hand.
2. Add apples, mix to combine.
3. Add rest of ingredients and mix. Pour into lined cupcake tins, filling about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
4. Dip each muffin into cinnamon sugar to coat the top.
5. Cool and enjoy!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vegan Banana Bread with Maple Glaze

I'm so sorry I disappeared for so long everyone, but I'm back now!!! Thanks for all the positive feedback, I won't leave you all high and dry for so long ever again :)

This post is a shout out to my sister's roomate, Maire Camille!, who makes the best vegan banana bread in the world! I forgot to get her recipe last time I visited, but have adapted a version of my own here that's pretty yummy too. Basically what happened was I had a bunch of bananas on the cusp of going bad and didn't feel like heading to the grocery store on my day off. I had no eggs or butter in the house, so I made do without. I must say this is a great way to use up those old bananas and everyone should have these ingredients laying around the pantry. The bread is great on it's own, but I happened to have some powdered sugar, soy milk and maple extract on hand so I made a quick glaze for the top. Yum yum!

Vegan Banana Bread
3 old bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (you may also substitute a combo of allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cloves)

1. Mash the bananas with the sugar and oil in a bowl.
2. Add rest of ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Pour into spray coated mold (bundt pan, loaf pan, muffin tins) and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
4. Unmold loaf and glaze while warm.

Maple Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon soy milk (regular milk works too)
1 tablespoon maple extract

I accidentally deleted all the pictures of took of my bread!!! Oops!