February 19, 2012

Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins

These muffins were the product of too many hours in front of the computer on a Sunday working. I needed a break and a distraction. I wanted to try baking something with apple sauce, and I didn't have any particular occasion in mind. I began absentmindedly experimenting.

My first thought was applesauce oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but that plan went awry when I decided I wanted to use up some half and half. If I had been thinking more clearly I would have known that if I wanted to add a full half cup of liquid to a cookie dough and still get cookies that I would also need to increase the amount of dry ingredients, but that didn't occur to me until I had everything mixed, and I took a close look at what was in front of me. Oops!

The batter for these muffins is best described as gloppy. Too wet to be cookies; although it held together well enough that I almost tried spooning it on to cookie sheets. I decided not to risk it. I spooned it into the muffin tins instead. And I was glad I did. The final product had much more of a muffiny/cakey consistency than a cookie consistency.

They were very moist and light. These muffins have a lot going on. The whole wheat flour lends a bit of seriousness: they taste healthy (not in a bad way). The applesauce lends complexity. The oatmeal lends texture. The chocolate chips make what would otherwise be a perfectly good and reasonably healthy breakfast a great afternoon snack. Almost dessert but not quite.


Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins
Loosely adapted from Joy the Baker and Martha Stewart
Total Time: 35 minutes
Makes about 1.5 dozen muffins
Sweetness Factor: 4; Indulgence Factor: 4; Difficulty factor: 2; Chance I'll Make them Again: 8.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup half & half
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips or blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350. Line (or butter and flour) muffin tins.

Whisk together the first five ingredients until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the chocolate chips or blueberries and stir in until evenly distributed.

Spoon the batter in the muffin tins, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 22 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

These will keep for about a week in an airtight container.

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