Second straight apple post.
(I blame the apple bread.)
Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? I’m 30 (I literally typed 33 first. I don’t know why. I am 30. Why am I unintentionally making myself older?! Sigh.) and I still have no idea what I want to be. Perhaps I should probably learn now to add…
I love to bake. But would I want to make a career out of it? I feel that once I make this my job, it’ll change. It won’t be fun. It’ll be work. I also stress hard core when people try something I make. Will they like it?! Did it come out okay?! I once made desserts for a friends wedding, and I could barely relax the entire time hoping the guests liked everything. Could you imagine me selling an entire store of treats? I’d probably die.
I love to write. I’ve always had a fantasy of writing a book. And it’ll totally be chick-lit. I’m 30 and I’m obsessed with chick-lit. #notsorry. But again, once it becomes my job, will I still have the same passion? Will it be natural? Or will it cause me stress because I’ll have to worry if anything I write is “good enough”? Would anyone read it? I’m surprised there are people that read this and like it.
I also secretly have always wanted to be a dancer. But the video of my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding quickly squashed that idea. I am THAT GIRL that jumps and points when she dances. (Hence why we did NOT have a videographer for our wedding. Learned that lesson quick.) Also: sorry Steve and Melissa. You will forever have those images to live with.
The only thing I have ever come close to wanting to be when I grow up is…this. This right here. A full-time food blogger. (Well, this and working at Trader Joe’s. Because, HELLO. Trader Joe’s.) But even this can have its limitations. Will I get as much satisfaction as I do now when it’s only a hobby? Would anyone even WANT me to do this full-time? Would anyone read?
The truth though, is that I really can try and do any/all of what I just wrote about. Except the dancing. NO ONE needs to see that. It all comes down to fear. Fear in failure. Fear in my abilities. Fear in succeeding? Because sometimes succeeding can be even scarier than not taking the chance at all. It comes down to having confidence and the balls to just take that leap.
While I’m not there…yet, the one thing I AM confident in? These muffins. I swear, IF I were to take that giant leap and open a bakery, I’d serve TONS of muffins and quick breads. I’m just so obsessed!! But whyyyyyyy are they always so bad for you? You see a muffin and think it’d be a nice, responsible breakfast item. NOPE. They’re usually so full of fat and calories, it even has my head spinning.
But these? Oh boy. Not only are these beauties made with whole wheat flour (yay whole grains!), but they’re also naturally sweetened! No refined sugar here, folks. These are sweetened with pure maple syrup (keep Aunt Jemima in the cabinet where she belongs) and unsweetened apple sauce. And instead of butter? Melted coconut oil.
In my previous post about my most favorite apple bread on the planet, the apples are sliced because I love the texture of being able to bite into an apple while eating a slice (or 7). But here, the apples are shredded so that they can really melt into the muffin and create an amazing apple flavor.
Cinnamon is added to the batter because, well, apples and cinnamon just go together. Like peanut butter and jelly. And peanut butter and chocolate. And peanut butter and ANYTHING. I just LOVE baking with cinnamon. It just adds such a warmth to anything it’s mixed in. I just love that flavor.
The pecans are added because they create a wonderful crunch to the muffins. Because the apples are shredded and don’t add any texture to the muffins, the crunch from the pecans are just NEEDED. If you don’t like pecans? Go for walnuts. Don’t like walnuts, add some pumpkin seeds. Add anything you want! Or, you know, if you don’t like nuts, simply leave them out. No one is judging you. …..or are they?
I made these over the weekend during the great Winter Storm Jonas. We had over 2 feet of snow in New York City, and these could not have been the more perfect and comforting thing to bake. A warm apple cinnamon muffin while the world is pretty much ending outside? Jonas: 0 Deanna: 1
Stacks on stacks on stacks.
Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Recipe by: Sally’s Baking Addiction
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat. Feel free to use any flour you have on hand: even regular all-purpose!)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (increase to 1 tablespoon if you really LOVE cinnamon)
- 1/2 teaspoon all-spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 chopped pecans (or any other nut)
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 oil (coconut, vegetable, canola are all fine)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded apple (about 2 apples. I used Pink Lady apples)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pecans together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, oil, applesauce, and vanilla together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir a few times, then add the grated apple. Fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.
- Spoon the batter into liners, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 23-24 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.