Apple and Date Wondermuffins
Today is my little sister's 17th birthday- so Happy Birthday Madeline! She was hoping for a car but instead she got these glorious apple and date muffins! I think I really one up-ed her expectations- and you will think so too when try these out. Seriously, I did not know how high to set my expectations for these muffins because they call for whole wheat flour and only 2 tablespoons of butter... and well... that sounded sort like a healthy muffin. But have no fear! These muffins are really really wonderful.
I found them in a giant cookbook called, Cookies, irresistible biscuits, brownies, and bars by Hilaire Walden. Now this book has yet to give me a bad recipe (honestly- everyone should go out and buy it) , in fact, it holds my all-time favorite snickerdoodle recipe, my mom's go-to decadent fudge brownie recipe, and a really fancy white chocolate macadamia nut chocolate chip torte (that is a perfect party pleaser). SO... I felt pretty confident that even this seemingly health conscious muffin would be somewhere between OK and good. Well, it blew me away. The cinnamon and apple really shine through and make it a good Autumn morning breakfast treat. It is sweet without being the least bit "sugary" and it is dense without being at all "buttery"- and it was easy to make too!
So without further ado- here is the recipe with a few changes I made in parentheses:
Date and Apple (Wonder)Muffins
1 1/4 cups self-rising whole wheat flour (I couldn't find self-rising whole wheat so I added 1 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp salt to regular whole wheat flour)
1 1/4 cups self-rising white flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used a very generous teaspoon)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons margarine (I used butter)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 eating apple ( I used a large, firm Golden Delicious apple and it worked beautifully)
1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons pear and apple spread (I actually used an organic morello cherry fruit spread)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 tablespoon chopped pecans (I used slivered almonds on half and left the other half plain)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange 12 paper liners in a deep muffin pan (I found that because my muffin pan is not very deep, I got about four extra muffins out of the batch). Put the whole wheat flour in a mixing bowl. Sift in the white flour with the cinnamon and baking powder. Rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles bread crumbs, then stir in the brown sugar (I used my hand pastry blender to mix in the butter, just because its not as messy, and I love my pastry blender).
Quarter and core the apple, chop the flesh finely and set aside (now the recipe did not specify as to whether you are supposed to peel the apple- I did because thought the skin my get a bit chewy or rough). Stir a little of the apple juice with the fruit spread until smooth. Mix in the remaining juice, then add to the rubbed-in mixture with the beaten egg. Add the chopped apple to the bowl with the dates. Mix quickly until just combined.
Divide the mixture among the muffin liners. Sprinkle the chopped pecans. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes (20 minutes did it for mine), until-golden brown and firm in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack and serve while still warm (they are really good warm and room temp. too).
And Helen Mae loved them too! Just kidding, I'm not a psycho mom- she's still sticking to the baby food
I have a huge tub full of chopped dates from Sam's Club, so expect to see more date recipes in the near future...