We love baking in our house – as I’ve discussed more than once. And while Mister Man is pretty good about wanting to eat the same breakfast day after day (oatmeal made with milk and a few dried cherries added to it), Little Miss requests more variety, and she’s ready for some new options beyond pancakes or waffles or omelets or cereal.
I’m sure you’re all surprised that she’s my child who’s interested in something else, right?
Muffins are a good alternative for us, especially ones that aren’t so super sugar laden as many are. I got a little creative this weekend, and the results were delicious. Fortunately for me, I doubled the recipe so we have plenty – including some to freeze and bring out later. (That’s why my measurements in the pictures look so big by the way!) Yes, I did make these dairy free – easily – but you don’t have to!
Cherry Applesauce Muffins
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour*
3/4 c unbleached white flour
1/2 c wheat bran
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t cocoa powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground allspice
1/2 t ground nutmeg (grate your own – it tastes so much better!)
1/4 t salt
1 c dried cherries
1 c applesauce (I used unsweetened, and the muffins were fine)
1 1/4 c milk (I used rice milk to make it dairy free)
* If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can use all white flour, but you’ll have to add an extra 1/4 c to the amount listed (2 1/2 c total).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together until they are a uniform color and consistency. Be gentle with your whisking so that you fluff the flour and other
ingredients to make beautiful muffins.
Whisk together the wet ingredients (applesauce, milk and egg) in another bowl. I use my extra large liquid measuring cup to avoid dirtying yet another dish (yes, I really am that brillian – or lazy!).
Add the cherries to the dry ingredients and mix it up. I use my (clean) hands for this, which also helps separate the cherries so they no longer stick to each other. Once this is completed, make a well in the center.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Use a large spatula to very gently fold them together until they are just combined. Do not overmix them to avoid having holes form inside your muffins and to keep them from being rubbery.
Pour the batter into your muffin tins. Make sure they are greased or use muffin papers. Fill them about three quarters full or a little more. If you end up a little short on muffin batter for one batch, put just a little water into each of the empty cups so that your muffin tins don’t warp. Over time, they will if you bake them empty.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool in the muffin tins for 10 minutes before removing them to cool completely.