Today was baking day. Bread, cookies, granola, muffins, maybe a cake. I had the best of intentions. Butter softening on the counter. Oats and nuts down from the shelves. Sugar, honey. All the ingredients. And then, as it sometimes does, the day got away from me. So that was fun too.
But I did make these muffins. They use 100% whole wheat flour but somehow aren’t heavy. They’re moist and a little sweet, and you can make them sweeter with a pecan streusel topping. We always go that route when we have them as a breakfast treat. Or you can make the muffins plain, as I do when I make them for my kids’ lunchboxes, usually in a mini muffin tin. Kids dig little things. And it’s cute to watch the baby enthusiastically eat a whole–if tiny–muffin.
Whole Wheat Apple Muffins require three bowls if you’re making the streusel topping, which I highly recommend. Make the topping first: mash together or pulse in a food processor 1/2 c brown sugar, 2 tsp. flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 3 Tb. butter, and 2/3 c. chopped pecans. Pop the topping into the freezer while you’re preparing the batter (and if you have leftover topping, you can keep it in the freezer for next time). Mix wet ingredients in one bowl: 2 beaten eggs, 1 1/3 c. buttermilk, 1/3 c. canola oil, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl: 2 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 c. (or up to 3/4 c.) brown sugar. Using a rubber spatula, fold wet and dry ingredients together with 1 c. peeled and finely diced apple. Don’t stir too much, just until it’s all combined. Scoop into buttered or lined muffin tins, filling nearly to the top, then pat streusel on top if you are using it. Bake at 375 in the upper 1/3 of the oven for about 10 mins for mini muffins or 20-25 mins for the larger size.
This recipe is from my all-time favorite cookbook, Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. My copy is falling apart, pages are abandoning the binding, it’s oil-stained and thickened by pages that have soaked up sauces, dressings, soup splatters, and my notes in the margins. What do your favorite cookbooks look like? And what are they?