February 21, 2007

Muffin Mania

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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).


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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.


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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
Ingredients:
¼ cup margarine
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
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



Instructions:
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.


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19 comments:

Anne said...

Muffins! I love to devour all of them :) The citrus currant muffins looks delish, I'm going to try it one of this days :)

Lydia said...

Muffins are irresistible! I make them in mini-muffin tins, so they last longer and so I don't eat quite so much at one time. A ruse, I know, but it works!

Kristen said...

You've been a muffin maniac! They look great!

Christine said...

I love muffins too...especially when they prove to be a good source of white flour, sugar and butter. Yum!

Elena said...

I'll wake up any Monday to your muffins! What else do you need to start a great day?! Coffee, Sunshine and Fruits!! These are great Brilynn! Thank you for your contribution to Muffin Monday!

Mary said...

When you said you used tofu in place of cream in a recipe I thought you meant in a muffin. Turns out you meant in a soup! I have nothing against tofu. In fact, I love soy products.

Marce said...

They all look terrific. You went into a bit of a muffin frenzy there. I used to think it would be great to be your neighbour, but I´m not so sure anymore, you would kill any attempt of losing weight in just a minute... and nope, tofu in that soup doesn´t redeem you ;)

Claire said...

mmmm....I've got to try those coffee coconut muffins!

rob said...

Well, I have to admit to liking my muffins more on the unhealthy side. Having said that, I'll eat pretty much any muffin that's put in front of me. I just love baked goods that much, and coffee coconut sounds good.

K & S said...

these sound wonderful..I wonder how it would taste by adding tofu into them...hmmm...

Ellie said...

These are absolutely adorable! And the fact that they're on the healthy side fits in well with my attempt to live healthier :D

Lis said...

You've got some good lookin muffins there, lady. ;)

I'm especially taken with the coconut/coffee variety.. must try.

xoxo

joey said...

Those muffins look great! And how industrious to make 3 kinds :) I wish we were neighbors!

I like prunes too :)

Laurie said...

Your coffee coconut muffins sound intriguing, I love muffins and coconut, but I don't do coffee, maybe tea? Thanks for sharing!

mrbunsrocks said...

I'm always in awe of people who can successfully make muffins. I have a very heavy hand with the batter and always end up with rubbery, hockey-puck-like discs.

So I don't make 'em.

Yours look delish though!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Fantastic, you are over the top again.
These all look wonderful good.

Ivonne said...

You had me at coconut ...

jef said...

Wow, I love coconut, too :)

http://www.myfoodgeek.com/2007/02/19/muffin-monday/

Looks like we're going to have a coconut muffin showdown, eh?

Maria said...

Wow! All of your muffins look marvelous! I am a big fan of coconut in anything. I often times ask myself that very same question- when does an ultra modified recipe become my own? Who knows.