Let’s be real here, shall we? Life is crazy. In fact, sometimes it’s downright ridiculous. I’d be willing to bet I’m not the only one who’s run out the door to catch her train to work and, upon dashing through the closing doors of the subway, realized that she left her apartment with one earring and forgotten her yoga clothes. Aaah, crap.
So frankly, no matter what my boards on Pinterest say, there aren’t many mornings that I have time to whip up exotic frittatas or homemade pancakes or even quesadillas. Breakfast in my apartment usually consists of a bowl of cereal eaten standing over the sink. Or eaten with a spoon in one hand and a mascara wand in the other. This is true life.
But then there is that glorious light at the end of the tunnel: the weekend. Two glorious days during which I can remind my crockpot how much I love it and when I can bake things that take longer than 30 minutes (on a weeknight, anything longer than that and I’m gnawing on a table leg).This past weekend, if you’ll recall, I happened to be house-sitting for my parents and hanging out with Baby Chip. My new apartment has sadly resulted in her absence from my regular bloggy life, but she and I spent a fabulously lazy few days together. As in, we watched Definitely, Maybe while curled up in blankets; ordered Chinese food with extra fortune cookies; and made homemade black and white cookies (feel free to peruse our exploits here!). But on Saturday, while Baby Chip was buried under a mound of homework, I baked up these beautiful muffins.
The idea for these particular muffins resulted from pondering my post for the awesome Blog Hop I’m participating in during the holiday season. Erin over at Big Fat Baker rounded up me, Erin from The Spiffy Cookie, and Melissa from Melissa Likes to Eat to post our creations themed on one or more of a few “flavors”–for this first post, we got to choose from pumpkin, apple, and maple.
Since I recently posted about my pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies, I decided I’d make apples the star of my Blog Hop recipe. I lightened up a lot of things in this muffin recipe–they use whole wheat flour and oats, skim milk, and a combination of brown sugar and honey instead of granulated sugar. (We’re going to ignore the fact that they’ve still got an entire stick of butter in there. Give and take, people.) They’d make a great breakfast by themselves, I think. They’re not overly sweet, and the burst of fruitiness from the apples is a really nice complement to the oaty, nutty texture of the muffin.
They’d still make a great breakfast if you drizzle ‘em all over with this sticky delicious maple glaze I dreamed up. Just sayin’.
For the muffins:
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup quick cooking oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup buttermilk (I added ¾ cup of skim milk to 1 tbsp of lemon juice, since we don’t have buttermilk hanging around)
- 1 1/2 cup apples, cored, peeled, and diced (I used 1 large golden delicious apple)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
For the maple glaze:
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp skim milk
- 1 tbsp lite maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
2. Toss chopped apples in a small bowl with 1 tsp lemon juice. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon).
4. In a separate medium bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and honey until smooth and fluffy.
5. Mix in egg whites and vanilla until fully combined.
6. Add buttermilk and continue to mix wet ingredients until blended. (If mixing lemon juice and milk, pour 1 tbsp of lemon juice into measuring cup, then add 3/4 cup milk on top of the lemon juice. Let stand for 5 minutes before adding to the other wet ingredients.)
7. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Batter will be sticky.
8. Fold in the apples.
9. Fill each paper liner to the top with batter (these muffins don’t rise too much). Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean (muffins should be springy to the touch). Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
10. While muffins are cooling, add 3 tbsp of milk to 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar. Whisk together, also adding 1 tbsp of maple syrup, until a glaze forms. The glaze can be adapted to your desired consistency—add more milk for a thinner glaze or more powdered sugar for a thicker one.
11. Using a whisk or small spoon, drizzle cooled muffins with glaze.
Makes 16 muffins.
Muffins will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container.