I like muffins, they’re sneaky little devils. A lot of people have the notion that muffins are healthy. I’m here to tell you that for the most part, muffins are simply undercover cupcakes. The secret is out! Of course, it is actually possible to make a muffin that is more appropriate for breakfast than dessert. Not putting 5 bars of chocolate and 3 sticks of butter into them is a good start. But if you want to do that and call it a muffin, that’s okay too, whatever makes you happy. SqPixels of Experiments wants to see what you call a muffin and has therefore started a new event called Muffin Monday. She provides you with a basic muffin recipe which you can alter to include different flavours and add-ins, but if you want to post a family favourite or make up your own recipe altogether, by all means, go ahead. I like muffins so much that I made three different kinds; Coconut Coffee muffins, Citrus Sunshine muffins and Dried Fruit muffins, (pictures are in that order).
The Dried Fruit muffins were up first, I took the basic recipe and changed it to suit what I had on hand. I promptly lost the sheet of paper I wrote the changes on, but it included the addition of dried cherries, apricots, prunes and candied ginger. There may have been some oatmeal in there too, or possibly bran. I don’t know, it was last week, my memory’s not so good. I do recall that the muffins were fairly edible, tasty even! The second batch of muffins came from Dorie Greenspan. It’s hard for me to bake without making a Dorie recipe. I know I’m guaranteed success with them, even if I’ve never made it before. I’ve found that I don’t even feel the need to alter Dorie’s recipes, and that’s rare for me, I’m always changing things. I made Citrus Currant Sunshine muffins, exactly as they’re written on page 7, except I used frozen currants instead of dried ones. As usual, these muffins delivered excellent results, and who doesn’t love a muffin that’s reminiscent of sunshine? Especially in the middle of winter.
I was going to stop there, but then for some reason, I felt the need to bake more muffins today. Why resist the urge? A had a few flavour ideas floating around in my otherwise empty head; coffee, coconut and pecans. But I didn’t have a recipe that contains those flavours. I also didn’t have any pecans. I found a recipe online for coconut and coffee muffins, but I changed it quite a bit to arrive at my final product. At what point does a recipe become your own as opposed to an adaptation of someone else’s? Beats me. Anyways, I had some specialty coconut coffee in the cupboard so that added an extra coconut element to the muffins. I also opted to make these muffins slightly less cupcake-like, and dare I say it… healthier? That’s not something you usually get too much of here, and in less than a week I’ve posted a recipe that substitutes tofu for cream and now healthy muffins. What is the world coming to? I used applesauce in place of some of the fat, there’s no oil, I decreased the amount of sugar, (buuwaaah???) substituted some whole wheat flour for all purpose and added prunes. Whoa. The addition of prunes was actually inspired by Dorie. After making her Armagnac Chocolate Cake, which contains prunes, I’ve been eating a lot more of them. They’re really good and they add great texture to baked goodies, let’s bring the prune back into style!
Coffee-Coconut Muffins Recipe (Adapted from Anne’s Recipes)
Makes 12 muffins
¼ cup margarine
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brewed coconut coffee, strong
1/3 cup milk, warmed
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup dried prunes, chopped
3/4 cup dried sweetened coconut
Grease and flour 12 muffin cups, or use paper liners. Use a large electric mixer bowl, cream the margarine, applesauce, sugar and brown sugar until very light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Combine the coffee, milk, and chopped prunes, let steep 5 min. Add in the vanilla. Alternately stir the coffee mixture and the flour mixture into the margarine mixture. Stir in the coconut. Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 10 min, rotate and bake another 7-9 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes on rack and remove from muffin tins.