I should preface this by saying I am not usually a baker. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook almost everything, but I didn’t grow up in a home that always had baked goods, so I was just not accustomed to it.
Then, a few years ago, I decided to try to bake muffins as a rainy day activity for my 2-year old son and I. They were super easy, healthy and delicious. I found that most of the recipes were similar, just substituting different fruit from one to the other.
My son went apple picking with his class a few months ago. What a wonderful fun, fall activity and a great way to spend a day, but I found myself holding a rather large bag of apples.
“What do you want to do with all of these apples?” I asked. “You can only use them in my apple cinnamon oatmeal, Maman”. Somehow, we were supposed to manage to keep these apples from going bad, and only use one a day….that’s not what I had on my mind. So we made muffins 🙂
Since, he was about 2 1/5 years old he has been helping me or my mother in the kitchen, from mixing the ingredients, to pushing the button on the food processor. Whenever he was interested, we would pull up his step stool to the counter, and I would find him a job to do. Recently, he has declared that he is the chef, and I am the cook or sous-chef, depending on the day… he even decided that his grandmother is the saucier!
We had so much fun measuring and mixing, getting flour all over ourselves and the counter, buttering the muffin tin and watching the muffins rise as they baked in the oven (the baby loved this activity), and the best part was eating them (of course)!
Here is a how we made them.
I always try to sneak in healthy ingredients, like flax seeds and whole wheat flour, when I bake. I also cut down the sugar from the original recipes by half , sometimes even substituting with honey instead (the apples are sweet enough).
I use this as a basic recipe and change the fruit (try it with berries instead of apples – it’s yummy) or add nuts (apple-walnut is a delicious combination, and packed with OMEGA-3s ). Feel free to tweak and play around, and enjoy making them for your family!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 apples , peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces (if the apples are small you can use 3….there can never be too many :))
- 1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour**
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour**
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds **
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces of apple sauce (you can use with or without cinnamon)
- Special equipment: a muffin pan with 12 muffin cups; 12 foil or paper muffin liners (or you can butter the pan and pour it in directly, which is what I do)
**NOTE: This recipe essentially calls for 1 1/2 cups of flour in total. If you do not have ground flax seeds or whole wheat flour you can always substitute white flour (or blend any combination of different flours) as long as the combined amount is approximately 1 1/2 cups, you’ll be fine. Also, if you find the mixture to be a little dry, feel free to add a little more milk, until you get the right consistency.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Put liners in muffin cups or butter the muffin pan (make sure to get the corners 🙂 ).
Whisk together butter, brown sugar, milk, apple sauce and egg in a bowl until combined well. Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in another large bowl. Add the 2 together and stir until just combined (do not over mix, but make sure they are completely combined). Fold in apples gently until well incorporated.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and bake until golden brown and a pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 30 minutes. Depending on the heat in your oven it can take a little longer or shorter…. so I start checking after 20 minutes.
For those of you who do not use my US-centric measurements, I have found a website which can convert the measurements for you here.
I hope you and your loved ones enjoy them as much as we did!
What kind of yummy foods do you make with/for your child(ren)? Do you alter recipes to make them healthier, or follow the original?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Maman Aya of New York, USA.
Photo credit to the author.