Bad Ass Header & A+ Muffins

12 Feb

Two things today:

1. Our pal Scotty V. made us this custom Will Hike For Food header!

Look up. Don’t you love it? I am known for backseat designing (as I am not a graphic designer myself) and he so graciously took our suggestions and turned them into something REALLY great. Isn’t Miss P’s orange collar the best part? Now, we’ve really made it.

2. I made better-than-average apple muffins.

I had a bag of apples in the fridge from TJ’s that I just couldn’t eat fast enough, so I knew an apple-related baking project was in my near future. THEN, I saw THIS on Smitten Kitchen. Perfect. Whole wheat (always), apples (have in excess) and other ingredients already in the pantry. And of course, I had to use Valentine’s day cupcake liners.

Here’s the result. NOTE, I always tweak, even when I should not. So my changes are as usual, in blue, like the bin.

photo 3

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

Adapted by Smitten Kitchen from King Arthur Flour, and by me from Smitten Kitchen, whew!

Yield: They said 12.  I got 12 PLUS a couple Texas-sized in the extra overflow pan.

Ingredients

1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used less, closer to 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar (I used closer to 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt (I used plain FF greek yogurt, so I had to add liquid, see below)

2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (NOTE: I don’t like undercooked apple chunks in a muffin, so I microwaved them for 3 mins before mixing in)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup fat free half ‘n half (because it’s what I had. I would have used skim milk otherwise)

ADDED 1/3 cup ground flax seed plus another few tbsp for the topping (because why not!)

ADDED 1 tbsp chia seed (because why not!)

photo 4

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups OR use adorable liners like me, and set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients (including ground flax seed and chia seed) and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Mix in the buttermilk or yogurt gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Here’s where I had to add my extra liquid ingredients to make up for the greek yogurt substitution. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and ground flax seed on top.

Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

photo 2

They taste GREAT, and even given the substitutions, not too dense, not flavorless, and just sweet enough for me.  And I gotta say, cutting the calories just a bit makes me feel better on those days where my day job keeps me from hiking to earn my treats.

Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 9.15.16 PM

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8 Responses to “Bad Ass Header & A+ Muffins”

  1. iamanrd February 16, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    Muffins look great! Have you tried using the flax or chia as an egg substitute? I know the flax-eggs usually work pretty well in baking.

    • bluebinbarbie February 16, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

      I haven’t, but I’m intrigued! Do you know of any recipes that do so…I would love to know the ratios and start experimenting. Thanks for the tip!!

  2. ShruTroup February 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    I love the new header!

  3. Brittany February 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Those muffins look amazing, as does the new header!

    • bluebinbarbie February 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

      Thanks on both counts! The muffins are still taunting me from the kitchen…

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