Fall! I am so glad it's here! Was there ever a more glorious time?
F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, " Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
I agree with him! Many of us feel a sense of renewal in spirit and person around spring-time, when the world itself begins to renew, but I definitely feel a better sense of self when the leaves turn their color, the air gets cold, and I get to pull out my cozy sweaters and boots. Perhaps it's just the Thanksgiving cultural influence, and the upcoming Christmas holiday, but it works for me! I absolutely and simply love this time of the year, and how it causes me to reflect on my life; I have truly been richly blessed. This year has been especially fun already, as my little son is finding the concept of "time" a continuous subject of study. Days, weeks, seasons...it's all intriguing.
"Fall" also translates into two MAJOR things for me: BAKING and STEW time. I am jumping for joy inside. Bring on the cold! I am a complete soup-stew-whatever person. Maybe I'll get to the stew later on, but for now, allow me to introduce:
Just Heavenly. Open your windows, turn on your ovens, and let your neighbors follow the scent of the season back to your house. Make sure you bake enough!
List of dry ingredients:
2 and 1/2 C. - Organic Non-GMO Whole Wheat flour
2 and 1/2 tsp. - Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp. - Baking Powder
3/4 tsp. - Baking Soda
1 tsp. - Salt
List of wet ingredients:
3/4 C. - Butter (softened)
1/8 C. - Organic Coconut Oil
1 and 1/4 C. - Honey
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 - Eggs
1/2 C. - Unsweetened Applesauce (I use Organic "Treetop" Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce)
1/2 C. - Buttermilk (You can make buttermilk substitute using 1/2 C milk and a splash of either lemon juice, or rice vinegar)
1 - Large Granny Smith Apple (peeled,cored, and finely chopped), or 2 apples, if you like more fruit chunks in your muffins
First, combine all of the dry ingredients together in their own bowl. They'll join this party later.
Next First: If you want to cut up your apple, you can either do it now, or just...whenever.
Now, combine the butter, oil, honey, and vanilla. Just beat it up til' it's smooth.
It'll look like this:
And it'll especially look like that^ if you have bright yellow mixing bowls.
(Note: If you accidentally melted the butter instead of softening it, that's okay. Your batter will still work great! It just won't look like the picture. Keep on!)
Next, mix in the eggs and applesauce. Your batter will look a bit gross, hence the lack of picture, but that's just fine. The dry mix will fix that.
Grab your bowl of dry ingredients and dump about half of it into your mixing bowl and mix it up. The batter might seem a little thick but that's okay. We still have that buttermilk!
Pour the buttermilk into the batter and slowly but fully incorporate. Add the remaining flour mixture and blend together. You'll then have this yummy batter:
Mmm, cinnamon. Yummy, delicious, cinnamon. Mmmmm.....okay...
Either get your bowl of chopped up Granny Smiths, or go chop it now. Dump it into the batter and simply use a spoon or spatula to mix in the apple chunks.
Set your oven to °350.
If you use cupcake liners, fill the cups halfway. (I consider it a "generous" halfway). If you choose not to use liners, fill the cups up to 2/3 of the way full.
Top your muffins with anything from a sprinkling of chocolate chips or nuts, or keep plain. I LOVE plain. Bake for 17-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. You know your oven best so always be sure to check on things when you think they need to be.
Let cool and store in an airtight container. I typically put my baked goods away while they're still a little warm to help retain some moisture.
Sorry Betty, but these are way better than anything you can put in a box. Dense, but fluffy and moist. They're even better when they've had time to sit and cool in their containers for a few hours.
You could even slather some frosting on top and call it a cupcake. Might as well. It's impossible to regret something like that.
**I can't be sure how many muffins this recipe will make. I always double it. Doubled, I make 3 dozen lined muffins, with a perfect amount of batter left over to make one loaf of bread.
If making a loaf, pour batter into a GREASED AND FLOURED loaf pan and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the center appears stable.