I don’t keep breakfast items readily available in the house. There’s always dry cereal, but we don’t use the milk fast enough to warrant keeping a lot of it in the refrigerator, and the cereal sits alone, unwanted. I like breakfast, specifically something that goes well with my coffee. Yep, you guessed it — more Ellie!
Unfortunately a lot of my photographs that I took didn’t come out well so, just a few minutes ago, I set up a little faux photo studio made from pages of a white “While You Were Out” message pad.
It was the best I could do.
I wish these were a lot more photogenic. Sadly, their modest appearance just doesn’t do the taste justice. These little gems are moist, sweet muffins with tender bits of apple baked throughout. And they’re delicious. Coming from someone who generally dislikes apples, that’s quite a statement. But that’s not the best bit. What really makes this little gem is the tasty brown sugar, cinnamon and pecan streusel on top.
These go together fast and they’re very easy, not to mention that they contain a lot of nutritious things your body needs — such as the applesauce and whole wheat. And yet, I don’t taste the “diet” element in this, something I am incredibly picky about. I don’t drink diet sodas nor do I eat a lot of sugar substitutes. They don’t taste right to me. These scrumptious muffins taste dynamite and you’re giving your body good, too.
Most importantly, it’s great with my coffee. I take two of these to work with me in a little plastic sandwich bag so I can eat them at my desk. They’re incredibly moist and surprisingly sweet and, because they’re in muffin format, they’re portable.
The recipe was adapted from Ellie Krieger’s book that I’ve been going on and on about. You’re probably sick of hearing about it by now, but I’m just in love with what I’m able to find inside. Remember those portobello lasagna roll ups I made not too long ago? I remade them the other night using creminis and turkey sausage. So yummy.
Anyway, most of the ingredients for this recipe were already in my cupboard, except for the applesauce. The only applesauce I had contained sugar, and what the recipe recommends is natural. To compensate, I cut the brown sugar in half, and still came out with something really special. My version is below. You can find Ellie’s original in her book, or on the Food Network website.
Adapted from Ellie Krieger
3/8 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the pecans and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.
I’m going to keep making these so I can have them on hand. I have a lot of leftover blueberries in my fridge so I’m going to switch those in for the apple and see what happens.