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Tag Archives: muffins

Triple Ginger Apple Muffins

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then my little James is going to have the doctors bolting in the other direction. The kid eats, oh, anywhere from 5 – 10 apples a day. No joke.

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At one point, I would dole out his daily allotment of apples, spending a ridiculous percentage of my days washing, peeling, and slicing his favorite food. After eating 3 in a day, I’d determine he’d reached his daily apple limit and try to persuade him to eat some nice, delicious cookies or perhaps some potato chips instead.

This never ended well. In fact, our worst fights pretty much all came down to a disagreement over how many apples a two-year-old should reasonably eat in a day.

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But, you know, as parents, you have to pick your battles, and eventually, I simply decided that if the kid wants to eat apples from dawn to dusk, then so be it.

We now buy multiple sacks of apples each week, which I wash and leave in a giant mountain on the counter, for my little guy to snack on at will. My only remaining problem is finding half-eaten apples hidden within my slippers. True story.

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Naturally, being peak apple season up here in Central New York, we recently spent an afternoon at our favorite apple orchard, Beak and Skiff, where we rode a flatbed tractor up to the rows of ripe Cortland apples and picked until the bags were too heavy to carry.

James filled his bag, then refused to let anyone touch his precious, precious fruit. He walked row by row, dragging that bulging bag of apples behind his little apple-nourished body, shrieking if I even attempted to lighten his load.

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After riding the tractor back to the front of the orchard, we placed our loot on the scales and handed over $26 for our sweet bounty. (Note to self: It costs 16 cents more per pound to pick the apples yourself than to buy the same apples, from the same orchard at the local grocery store.)

I went through the bags of apples once we’d arrived home. To my utter lack of surprise, James’ bag contained at least 10 bucks worth of half-eaten apples.

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Some of what I found in James’ bag of apples…

Thankfully, most of Liam and Lucas’ apples were not already eaten, leaving plenty of freshly-picked apples for snacking and for making these outrageous muffins. Based on a basic not-too-sweet molasses muffin, accented with a triple dose of ground, fresh, and crystallized ginger, these spicy muffins barely made it to the next morning.

I recommend making a double batch.

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Triple Ginger Apple Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 6-ounce container vanilla or apple-cinnamon greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups apple, peeled and diced

Directions

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Prepare muffin tins with liners or by spraying with a nonstick baking spray.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, oil, and molasses. Stir in the fresh ginger.

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until well blended. Stir in the crystallized ginger and the apple. The batter will be pretty thick.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, so that each tin is about 2/3 – 3/4 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 12-15 muffins

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Quadruple Berry Muffins!

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Have you seen my belly lately?? It’s seriously impressive. I suppose that is what happens when you’re a month away from expecting your third baby! A belly this big requires plenty of delicious treats. And these muffins totally fit the bill! These quadruple berry muffins are bursting with all of the sweet flavor and delicious nutrition you’d expect from fresh berries and yogurt.

Yes, you caught that right… QUADRUPLE Berry Muffins! We don’t mess around with plain old blueberry muffins ’round here. Our muffins are exploding with the flavor of four different berries. A sweet and buttery, cinnamon streusel topping adds the perfect finishing touch. It’s a fantastic way to start a beautifully sunny spring morning.

The recipe which follows is slightly tweaked from the one I actually baked. In my original recipe, I incorporated fresh strawberries into the batter, along with the blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. What I quickly discovered is that fresh strawberries get kind of wet and mushy when baked. In my book, that was a less than ideal texture. So, I traded in the fresh strawberries for some creamy strawberry-flavored yogurt. Now the only thing missing from these muffins is a bit of cranberry! Maybe next time we’ll go for quintuple berry muffins!!

Quadruple Berry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup strawberry yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries, coarse chopped
  • 1/2 cup blackberries, coarse chopped

For the Streusel

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare muffin tins with liners. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, egg, yogurt and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir, just until combined. Do not overmix. Fold in the fresh berries. Fill each muffin liner with a generous 1/4 cup of the batter.

For the streusel, stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients. Stir until evenly moistened. Use your fingers to press the mixture together into large clumps. Break the large clumps into smaller crumbles over the muffin batter. Gently press the crumbles into the batter.

Bake for about 25 minutes.

Makes 12-15 Muffins

** Adapted from Alton Brown’s Blueberry Muffins

Cooking with Kids: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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First and foremost, this is a blog about food. But, being a mom is inseparable from the rest of me. It’s at the core of my being. It’s part of almost everything I do, including cooking. And it just so happens that I believe that cooking with kids is one of the most fantastic ways to develop early-learning skills. Prior to my life as a stay-at-home mom, I was a teacher. Though I am no longer a teacher by trade, I will always be an educator. As an educator, a mom, and a culinary fanatic, I feel passionately about the many ways that cooking with kids can be learning-rich experiences.

Just a few of the many skills that are developed through cooking:

  • Vocabulary Development – names of foods, cooking terms, procedural language
  • Following Directions – single and multi-step directions
  • Sequencing Skills – following the steps in the directions, retelling the sequence of steps
  • Fine Motor Skill Development – stirring, pouring, mashing, cutting soft objects
  • Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Social Emotional Development – feeling pride and sense of accomplishment, following directions, turn-taking, participation
  • Science Knowledge – change of state from liquid to solid, heating and cooling, dissolving
  • Math Knowledge – measuring, counting
  • Willingness to experiment with new foods – kids may be more open to trying something they had a hand in making

A few tips to help make your cooking experience enjoyable for everyone:

  • Give yourself extra time.
  • Be prepared for a little extra mess.
  • Select tasks which are age-appropriate for your child.  (Kids are expert mixers, pourers, and banana-mashers!) Give them tasks to keep them occupied between steps.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare! In the culinary field, one often hears the French phrase, “mise en place”. Essentially, this translates to “everything in its place”. It simply involves the practice of gathering, measuring, and preparing all ingredients prior to beginning the cooking process.  This practice is useful for all cooking, but is especially helpful when you’re working with young kids, with short attention spans.
  • Don’t forget to model good sanitary practices, such washing hands and using clean utensils.  (Keep a few extra spoons nearby so you can quickly replace spoons used for tasting!)

Children learn best when they are engaged in meaningful, hands-on activities. So, next time you’re in the kitchen, grab your kid (or borrow someone else’s) and get cooking!

A few pictures of today’s banana chocolate chip muffin-making event…

Adding the salt

Pouring the oil

Expert banana mashers

Using a fork to loosen the banana

Feeling proud of his work

Taste test

Anxiously waiting and watching

And now the recipe.  Children welcome, but not required to make!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins


Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. To prepare your muffin pan, use muffin liners, grease and flour, or spray with Baker’s Joy (or a similar product). Pour the batter into prepared muffins tins. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Makes about 12-15 muffins.

**This recipe was adapted from a recipe for Banana Bread, found here.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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