Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TWD: Apple-Cranberry Family Muffins

As a quick note regarding the chewy / cakey / crispy cookie debate that has evidently entered our little household, J dropped another bombshell on me. This was shortly after letting me know that my cakey sugar cookies slathered with frosting were not welcome, and it came in the form of the brownie debate. People, he likes cakey brownies. Cakey. Not fudgy, not chewy, not chunky with chocolate and nuts. Cakey.

Who is this man I married?!?!

Is it too early to file for divorce?!

(On a side note, our joke that started mere hours after getting married is to threaten each other with divorce. Now that I think of it, I believe it started a day or so before getting married, in the debate on whether it was too soon to file for divorce. This is obviously a joke, as he does laundry and dishes and provides me with wine and dinner after stressful days in lab.)

So. On that note, I defiantly went and turned a cake that neither of us would eat into one that I would eat. So there. Out went the coconut, in went the cranberries! After my desperate rant about not being able to find my beloved Ocean Spray cranberries, they exploded into stores - the day before Thanksgiving. I guess cranberries are divas who require being fashionably late to any party. All that meant was that I frantically stocked up on, oh, four or five bags of cranberries, shoved them in the freezer, and promptly... did nothing with them.

That is, until I saw this week's TWD pick (for those asking, TWD stands for Tuesdays with Dorie, where we bake weekly from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours) - apple coconut family cake. Containing a cup of shredded coconut, I knew that this would not do. I only had a couple options - leave it out and hope for the best, replace it with walnuts or pecans, or replace it with cranberries. And after the upsetting cookie and brownie realizations, I needed a me-only sweet - cranberries it is!

Except that I'd like to be able to hop in the hot tub when we go to Asheville over Christmas, so mini-sizing them was a necessity. What?!? I don't have classes anymore, and can't bank on my grad school peeps to still be around to eat them for me! So half recipe. Muffins. As is often the case with Dorie's recipes, these weren't huge risers, probably due to the amount of apple weighing them down. I used sour cream instead of yogurt because we don't eat yogurt and I already had sour cream for making cheesecake this coming week. And instead of placing apple slices on top (which some people mentioned not liking), I just sprinkled some sparkling sugar on top for some festive flair. Look at me, I'm Martha Stewart!

And while we don't normally post recipes unless we're hosting that particular week, I feel I've made enough tweaks that I should post the recipe as I made it. It's below the TWD picks.

Last Week: Translucent Maple Tuiles
Next Week: Cardamom Crumb Cake

Apple-Cranberry Muffins
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 small apple, peeled and cored
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream, yogurt, or Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cranberries
granulated, raw, or sparkling sugar, optional

Preheat the oven to 350*F. Spray 6 or 7 cavities of a muffin pan, or line with muffin papers.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl.

Cut the apple into a small dice. Slice the cranberries in half (yes, it may seem fiddly, but it means more even cranberry distribution in the muffins = win!).

In a measuring cup (because I'm lazy and refuse to wash more than I absolutely need to), measure out the sour cream. Add the oil, egg, vanilla, and sugar. Whisk or stir until combined. Pour over the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Add in the apple and cranberries and stir until evenly distributed (less is more).

Using a large cookie scoop, fill the muffin cavities to the brim. Again, this isn't a vigorous riser, so there won't be batter catastrophes. You'll get 6-7 muffins. Sprinkle the top with granulated, raw, or sparkling sugar if you'd like. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Pop them out of the pan right away (otherwise they will get soggy) and cool on a rack.


Amber Marie said...

Glad you found a way to bake along this week and enjoy it! The muffins look great. Asheville for Christmas is very exciting - it'll be so beautiful!

Bridget said...

My husband doesn't like ANY brownies. WTF.

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Love the minis! Great idea on the downsizing - I'm in three weddings back to back starting in March. Think I'm ready? Uh, no.

Heather B said...

yeah cranberries! I love the apple-cranberry combination so I'm sure these would be delicious. Great job!

Di said...

Ooh, I like your version! I can't stand coconut and was too busy to improvise this week. But apple & cranberry sounds like a great idea.

Mary said...

Yum. I like your version. And, I think that liking cakey-brownies is definite cause for annulment. I am glad he has other good qualities that hopefully outweigh this major transgression :).

Caroline said...

My husband and I are the same way - typically I'll try to accomodate his and my tastes in anything I make, but there are times when I'll make sure that something I make is something only I'll like - just so I don't have to share :) The muffins look wonderful, I'm sure they tasted fabulous, too!

Karen said...

These are perfect! Nice tweaks to the recipe!

Y said...

Ha, but you know what, it's probably a plus that he actually HAS an opinion about brownies. Barry just hoovers up anything chocolate. He's a bit of a worry some times.