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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Applesauce Muffins

I eat a lot of apples. A lot. And since I hate to throw anything away, I keep the cores and peelings in the freezer until I have enough, then cook them in water along with some cinnamon, pick out the seeds, and whirl it all up in the blender until it makes a nice applesauce to cook with. (I know, I know, it's ridiculously frugal. I can't help it.) Even if you don't feel a compulsion to use every single part of the apple, this a great applesauce muffin recipe. They're moist and firm-textured, and I usually make a batch and freeze half to use for a quick microwave breakfast later.

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg *see note below*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons oats (I prefer Rolled Oats for this, but you can use quick oats)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream butter and sugar. Add the egg, applesauce, vanilla. Stir all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add wet ingredients just until moistened. Add nuts, if using. Fill ungreased silicone muffin tin or greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes our clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool.

*Freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon tastes better than regular ground, and only takes a minute. This great Nutmeg Grater costs less than $3 and I use it often.*

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