My Favorite Muffins: The Choice is Yours


I’ve been holding back on you. I’ve never shared with you the recipe for my and my family’s favorite ever muffin recipe: Applesauce Spice Muffins. The name doesn’t allude to anything grand or special, but let me tell you these muffins are glorious. You’ll find yourself eating one and then another and, before you know it, ten muffins will have somehow found their way into your person. Tricky little guys these muffins are.

Oh and whenever we share these with anyone, they undoubtedly ask for the recipe. If I was the betting type, I would consider waging money that someone might just ask you for the recipe.

I decided to make them a little healthier. Now, you won’t find me trying to improve the nutritional value of a cupcake. Healthy cupcake just screams oxymoron to me. But if I can make muffins, perfect little breakfast pastries from heaven that they are, a little healthier, you can bet I’m going to do it.

I’ve decided to share with you both the original recipe and the “healthier” version. They are both wonderful and delicious. I won’t say they taste exactly the same, because they don’t. But I happen to love both of them. If you just can’t decide, make both.

Make these today. Save some for tomorrow – perfect way to celebrate Muffin Monday.

Family Favorite Applesauce Spice Muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup applesauce

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp cloves

Powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, add sugar, beating at medium speed; add egg, beating well. Add applesauce, mixing well. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; add to creamed mixture. Fill greased mini muffins pans about 3/4 full. Bake for 14 minutes. Cool. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving/eating. Enjoy!

*batter can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks prior to baking as they’re best fresh

Extra Fueling Applesauce Spice Muffins

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of butter, softened.

1/4 cup sugar (I used blended sucanat)

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups applesauce

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1st allspice

1/4 tsp cloves

Powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees

Cream together butter, sugar, honey, and 1/4 cup applesauce. Add eggs and  remaining applesauce, mixing well. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Filled greased muffin pans about 3/4 full. Bake for 14 minutes. Cool dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

*Both recipes make about 30-36 mini muffins

*It is correct that the original recipe has one egg and the healthified recipe has two. That is not done to improve nutritionally value, but it simply what worked in my experimentation.

Which muffin recipe will you try?

Are you good at making decisions?

I am not. Even little tiny decisions, take me forever and usually end with, “I’m good with anything, you decide.” But as bigger decisions loom in my future (hello college, career choices, etc), I’m realizing that little decisions such as what restaurant to go to or whether to do my English presentation on Powerpoint or Prezi really aren’t all that important.  Of course, in the instance of these muffins my inability to make decisions would surely come in handy. I’d make both and be better off for it. You should do the same (:

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Back to My Roots

So let’s be honest, sometimes there are certain recipes I want to post, but I don’t because they aren’t healthy (<- I really hate that word). And if I were to mention an unhealthy (<- hate that word even more) food I feel like I have to make an excuse or justify eating said food. I know that it’s probably all in my head as you guys are like the nicest people ever, but I’m still sick of it.

I just want to make food that is good. Food that people enjoy. If I had to choose between something healthy or something delicious, I’d pick the delicious food every time.

You see, food and I go way back. When I was 6 or 7 I started a restaurant called “Train Depot.” The recipe was open around noon for lunch and again in the afternoon for snack hour. It even had menus. Keep in mind the only customers were my 3 older siblings (we were all homeschooled back then). I think the name came because the first time I “operated” the restaurant I served the food to “customers” dining in a train we made in our backyard out of the chairs from the kitchen table. My brother was certainly my most loyal customer. He would often order the “casadillas” or grilled cheese, two of our specialities. Side dishes included yogurt and apple sauce. For dessert my favorite thing to serve was Graham Cracker Suprise which involved graham crackers, peanut butter, and chocolate chips. Nevermind the fact that none of the menu offerings had more than 3 ingredients; it was something I enjoyed doing. I enjoyed serving my siblings and seeing how it made them happy when I made them lunch.

Flash forward a few years to when I was 9 or 10 on my parents anniversary. They decided to keep things simple and have a simple anniversary dinner at home. I begged to cook and serve them dinner. My mom and I compromised by picking up a Central Market Dinner for Two which I plated and served to them. But, I did get to make the dessert. I made Volcanoes (aka molten lava cakes) and topped them with raspberries and whipped cream before taking them out to my parents who were dining on the back patio. I was so proud of what I made and nothing made me happier than seeing my parents enjoying the dessert that I had made.

To me, that’s what food is all about. Sure it’s fuel and nutrition and all that good stuff, but ultimately it’s about bringing joy to others. I feel like in the past year or so I’ve gotten so caught up in making healthy food that I have strayed from what began my love for food. I’m still that little girl whose eyes light up when a new culinary creation turns out well and who enjoys nothing more than having someone else enjoy a dish she has made. I never wantthat to change.

So, in the future, I may post some not-so-healthy recipes. No shame. No excuses. It’s my blog and I can post about whatever I want. If you don’t like it, I’m sorry. But, there’s a lot of food that I enjoy that isn’t neccessarily healthy (depending on how you define the word) and I see that as no reason to stop me from eating it.

Sound good?

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Fudge Filling and Peanut Butter Frosting

This is the kind of recipe that makes me want to forget about the whole college thing and open a cupcake shop. Immediately.

This is the kind of cupcake that I want to take pictures of and picture mail them to everyone I know because I’m so darn proud of them.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me realize that Katherine and Sophie(of DC cupcakes) having nothing on me and my sisters.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me want to do nothing but bake cupcakes all day.

This is the kind of recipe that makes me never want to eliminate gluten, dairy, or sugar from my diet.

This is the kind of recipe that must absolutely never be “healthified”. I guarantee you it won’t taste half as good. If you want to make something healthy just refrain from making insanely rich decadent cupcakes. No substitutions allowed.

My mom said she thinks they’re the best thing I’ve ever made. I’ve made some pretty good things.

Daddy says they taste as good as they look. They’re kind of beautiful, no?


I strayed from Jessica’s recipe slightly in that, rather than using some of the pb frosting as a filling, I just used it on top and filled the cupcakes with some of the extra hot fudge sauce. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I kinda like my way. The frosting is so sweet and rich having it on the inside too might over do it a bit. Rather, the fudge sauce on the inside adds unexpected gooey, chocolatey goodness and a nice moistness to the finished product.  I’ll be honest; it was actually my mom and sister’s idea. See, I’m really not tooting my own horn.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Hot Fudge Filling and Peanut Butter Frosting

based on this recipe from How Sweet It Is

Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark cocoa powder

2 tablespoons flour

pinch of salt

1 cup water or milk

1 tablespoon of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa, salt, and flour in a medium size bowl. Bring water or milk to a boil. Once boiling, Gradually pour hot liquid into the sugar mixture. Stir constantly until mixture thickens.

Once it has reached the desired thickness, remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set Aside.

Cupcake Batter

makes 12 cupcakes

1 egg

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 1/8 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup dark cocoa powder

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup homemade fudge sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add milk, cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined, add sour cream. Stir in flour, coco powder, baking soda, and salt . Mix until batter is smooth, then swirl in fudge sauce. Line a muffin tin with liners and using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 (it took me more like 20-25 but my oven is a little wacky)minutes. Let cool before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup peanut butter

3 cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 of milk

pinch of salt

Cream butter and peanut butter together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar with mixer on low speed and gradually add milk and vanilla extract. Mix until frosting is smooth. If too thick, add more milk; if too thin, add more sugar.

Assembly

Once cupcake have cooled completely use a knife to cut two slits into the cupcakes, forming one X shaped slit. Inject hot fudge sauce into the cupcakes using either an icing bag with a very small tip or, preferably, put the fudge sauce into a squeeze top bottle (like the kind chefs use to decorate plates and for salad dressings). The sauce will soak into the cupcakes. Once this happens feel free to inject with a bit more fudge sauce. Top with peanut butter frosting and drizzle with more fudge sauce. Enjoy!

I plan to make these again very soon to take to some of my friends. Hopefully I will get  step by step photos up after that.

My cousins sure liked them :)

Don’t forget to check out my twitter.

@flourishingfood

Pancake Fate

Hello All,

I apologize for my lack of posting lately; part of it due to busyness and part due to lack of inspiration. But, I made some pancakes yesterday that were wonderful, and I just couldn’t wait to tell you about them. You see, I really wanted some pancakes (actually I wanted waffles, but didn’t feel like bothering with the waffle iron) so I quickly went to Google in hopes of finding a good healthy pancake recipe. No luck. “Hmm. maybe HEAB will have something on her recipe page,” I thought. As fate would have it, just minutes before I went to her page Heather had put up a new post about pancakes! I guess destiny wanted me to make these pancakes! It is actually a recipe from Alex at Spoonful of Sugar Free.

I follow the recipe almost exactly, except I used white whole wheat flour instead of brown rice flour and a little bit of coconut oil because I didn’t have applesauce. The first few I made, I poured the batter down then sprinkled on some frozen blueberries. When about half the batter was remaining, I mixed a handful of blueberries and probably about 1 tsp of apricot jam into the batter then proceeded to cook the rest. They were so, so, so delicious. I loved them!

Topped with plenty of butter (What can I say, I was inspired by HEAB)because butter makes everything better. Though I avoid most dairy, butter is one of those foods I will never be able to give up. It’s just so good and there is nothing else like it! (Attention makers of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, I can believe it’s not butter!)

Close up of one of the pancakes from the first half of the batch

Is there any food you continue to eat regularly because you love it even though it may not necessarily be the healthiest thing for you? (although I really don’t consider butter unhealthy)

Also, just fyi, I haven’t forgotten about this giveaway that I mentioned. The reason I have not done anything more with it is because I’m waiting until I find out how much shipping costs. It seems silly to me to pay$5-6 to send a few  Lara Bars that aren’t worth much more than that. Hopefully I’ll find out soon and let y’all know on that.

Have a marvelous week!

~Ann Claire