Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fresh Apple Muffins with a Twist

I'm a big fan of apples, so when I saw The Amateur Gourmet's post on raw apple muffins, I was intrigued.  In my mind, I didn't think that a thousand apples pieces and only a little muffin batter would hold up as something delicious.

But I also saw a lot of variation possibilities with this recipe, so I went for it.

And vary it up, I did!  Partly because I enjoy experimenting, and partly because I didn't feel like going to the store for extra supplies.  Laziness can certainly spur on creativity (though I'm sure a lot of people might argue that with me.)

Also, I just really like rubbing things into sugar.  So I decided to make up some rosemary sugar to throw on those chopped apples.  It's like Christmas!
I mean, it looks like Christmas.  It tastes a bit more like an earthy but light autumn-time treat.

Sub in some apricots for raisins and toasted hazelnuts for walnuts, and we're in business!

A flavor party in my mouth.  I'm one of those people that gets bored by eating the same things over and over.  Sometimes I even get bored within one meal if the meal is too one-note.

These, my friend, are not one note.  Party. in. your. mouth.
So many flavors that you will never get bored.  Promise.

Fresh Apples Muffins
Yield, 12-18 muffins (depending on how much you fill the tin)
Inspired by Marion Cunningham's recipe, via The Amateur Gourmet

4 apples
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 eggs
1/2 c. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. roasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 c. dried apricots, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and grease 18 muffin tins.

In a small bowl, rub sugar and rosemary together for about a minute until the mixture gets really fragrant.  Set aside.  Core the apples, and chop into a small dice.  (Note: I used two gala and two granny smith apples, unpeeled.  Feel free to use your favorite apple, and peel them if you want!)  Mix the apples and rosemary sugar together, and set aside to meld the flavors.

Whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla until well blended.  Sprinkle the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt over the wet mixture, and then mix well to incorporate. Pour the batter over the apples and mix well with a wooden spoon, rubber spatula, or your hands. (Alternately, the original recipe calls for the wet mixture to be mixed with the apple, and then the dry part to be mixed  and sprinkled over after.  I didn't do this because... I didn't read the recipe thoroughly.  Either way works!)

Sprinkle the chopped apricots and hazelnuts over the apple batter, and give it another mix to incorporate.  Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

They are amazing served warm out of the oven.  To store, I kept mine in an air-tight container in the fridge, and they were also delicious cold right out of the fridge.

These can be frozen if you can't eat that many muffins right away!  I froze half of mine, and they were just as good after a thaw in the fridge.

Happy Apple Baking!

Friday, May 10, 2013

a return. with some friday favorites.

hello blog readers. (if there are any of you left)
sorry for the radio silence over here. Ashley and I simultaneously fell into a blogging funk. and we're both of the mindset to post quality rather than quantity, thusly the lack of any posting for the last couple weeks. but this nice weather is kind of inspiring, and is just begging for some new ice cream recipes and some summer outfit posts. we'll see what happens.
Ashley ditched me this afternoon to enjoy her early Friday quitting time. jerk.
(kiiiiiiidding. it's just that our gchat conversations are one of the only things that keep me going at work. but i'm glad she got some extra outside time today. it's glorious out)
anyway, I guess i'll do a Friday favorites post all by my lonesome. and it's a special themed Friday favorites called "things I want to buy from etsy"
 [forewarning. I've really been itching to redecorate lately,
so don't be surprised if most of this stuff is in that vein]
 this quilt is what dreams are made of. my dreams at least.
I think this is a good reminder to have around for days when you can't justify having ice cream for dinner. 
 for days when I just want to gaze at my own beautiful reflection. or make faces.
one day I woke up and I just wanted some unicorns. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
I never even knew I needed a ring holder until my eyes beheld this majesty.
 are these weird? I don't care, I want them.
 this globe is the prettiest globe.
 I know this banner is just a bit ridiculous. but I love it and want to hang it above my bed.
(or this one if I was feeling extra extra ridiculous)
and finally this case. which my phone would sure love to wear all summer long.
have a lovely weekend everyone! mine is going to include a long awaited haircut and a whole weekend with a husband who doesn't have to study anymore. shout hooray!