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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An Apple a Day

I met Emily a few years ago at our daughter's camp visiting day up in Maine.  We bonded over the drama of raising teenagers (she has one in college and one in high school, just like me) and our love of a really good chocolate cake.  Kate wasn't the only one in our family to make friends as camp!

Emily is a terrific cook, and I always love sampling recipes she sends my way.  The recipe for apple muffins below is a good example of how she personalizes her recipes.  I've put Emily's changes in parentheses (and I made the muffins according to her changes).

So, I just took these muffins out of the oven, and I am here to tell you that they are to die for.  There's not a lot of muffin going on -- the muffin is really just holding the fruit together.  They smelled so good when they were in the oven that I practically risked third degree burns to try one as soon as they came out.  I was not disappointed.  They just scream autumn with the apples and raisins, and the cherries are a really nice addition.  Next time I make them I'm going to use the nuts -- what could be bad unless you have a nut allergy?

We are going to see Emily and her family in a couple of weeks, and I am so looking forward to dinner.  I know it will be delicious and who knows, maybe she'll send me off with a couple more recipes that I can share with all of you.

Apple Muffins
(Adapted from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham)


4 cups diced apples, peeled or unpeeled  (I used unpeeled)
1 cup sugar  (I used brown sugar)
2 eggs beaten lightly
1/2 cup oil  (I used vegetable oil )
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup broken walnuts -- leave in large pieces

Instead of the nuts, I added 1 cup dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 325.  Grease 16 muffin cups or use paper liners.

Put three mixing bowls on the counter.  Mix the apples and sugar in the largest one.  Put the eggs, oil, and vanilla in the second bowl and stir to blend well.  In the third bowl, put the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and stir the mixture with a fork until blended.

Stir the egg mixture into the apples and sugar.  Sprinkle the flour mixture over the apple mixture and mix well.  It will be very stiff.  Sprinkle the fruit and nuts over the batter and mix until evenly distributed.  Spoon into prepared muffin tins.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a straw comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin.  Serve warm.

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