Thursday, January 17, 2013

Baker woman

I am a week and a half into my biggest loser type diet and so of course I spent the morning baking! No, really, it was for a good cause: J and his preschool class spent yesterday setting up a bake shop in their classroom, complete with illustrated and phonetically described menu items, and he and I thought it might be a good idea to send them some actual baked goods to eat there, instead of just pretend ones.

First, I whipped up a batch of my favorite Coconut Lime Banana Muffins. Delicious and somewhat healthy. Also, J's favorites, too. I make this recipe as muffins so I don't run into the ever present banana bread that is not done enough in the middle problem and also so I can sprinkle coconut on each and every muffin and then quadruple the glaze and smother them with it. DELICIOUS!

Then I decided we didn't have enough for everyone, really, and what if some kids don't like coconut or lime or banana (silly children)? We should have an option for them, right? So I examined what I had on hand and found a recipe online for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Yogurt Muffins. Sold! These muffins were not very sweet and could probably have used a bit more chocolate chips and some vanilla, but they were still pretty tasty.

BUT, this recipe made a very small batch and by then I was in the zone, so I looked in my cupboards again and did another internet search and found what I am calling Applesauce Muffins, also made with yogurt (I decided I needed to use it all up). She calls them Apple-Cinnamon Muffins but mine turned out so different from hers I am renaming them. I used my own homemade applesauce (we made some at a Relief Society activity earlier this year) which was very, VERY chunky and though she says her batter was "fluffy," mine was thick as can be and made for some very dense muffins with lots and lots of apple chunks inside and on top. They were so dense they didn't sink in in the middle like hers did because of applesauce. I think they might have been lighter if I had used a smoother applesauce made with more liquid, but I quite liked the apple density in mine. In the future, though, I would omit the cinnamon in the batter all together (as it was, I only used 1/2 tablespoon) and add some vanilla (it is obvious I think vanilla can solve most baking ills?) instead and then add more cinnamon-sugar mixture to the tops.

And then I started to feel very guilty about the child in class whom I know has a gluten allergy, so I found the package of gluten free brownie mix I bought when I realized this child was befriending mine and might come over to eat one day and made those as well. Plus, I felt like we had too many muffins at that point, and the bake shop needed to offer something else from the menu, so brownies were a good option. I made them in mini-muffin tins as brownie bites and doubled the amount of (gluten-free) chocolate chips the package said to add. I quite liked them, though the chocolate flavor in the mix was more bittersweet/dark chocolatey than the mixes I am used to. I haven't made brownies in a long time, actually, what will all the dieting and special holiday cooking going on recently, but I am a firm believer that brownies from scratch are a complete waste of time. I have made them that way, actually learned to make brownies from scratch first, but if you are generous with your mix-ins (chocolate chips, pecans, mini marshmallows, etc.) and substitute applesauce for the oil or eggs when using a mix, you get rich, delicious, gooey brownies every time and you don't have to bust out a double boiler! Huzzah!

So, for lunch and for breakfast I had muffins. I may also have them for dinner. Don't judge! It can't be bad if that's all the calories I have during the day, right? Sshhhh, don't confuse me with the facts!

1 comment:

Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

I think the Trader Joe's truffle brownie mix is better than almost any homemade brownie. Except my friend Heidi made me homemade brownies once and they were to die for. But lots of work. I always laugh when people talk about how great my brownies are. It's true that there is SOME skill involved -- I know EXACTLY which mixes make the best brownies: Trader Joe's, Ghirardehli, and Betty Crocker. Never ever Duncan Hines. The end. It should be noted that I do not usually modify the mix instructions - you could probably save any mix with enough chocolate chips.