Banana, blueberry and apple oat muffins

After such a long hiatus since my last post, it seems only fitting that this is a recipe my almost 18 month old son loves as well. I’ve recently allowed him to try some of my baked goods and he loves them. I wanted to create a ‘healthier’ (ie, less sugar, more fruit and fiber) version of my banana muffins; a recipe I will eventually blog someday. I decided that adding oats, halving the sugar, and including two other fruits were the key. You could just as easily add in another berry/fruit to the mix, just keep your proportion of wet to dry in mind: no one likes a soggy muffin!  I also plan on taking these to work as an on the go breakfast for myself; what better way to start off your day than a delicious, and healthy, muffin?

Ingredients:

3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
6 Ripe Bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed (you can freeze over ripe bananas, then use them later)
1/2 Pint Blueberries
3 Royal Gala Apples, diced

Tools:

Muffin tray
Muffin papers
Mixer
Extra bowl

Method:

Pre heat your oven to 325 F.

Beat your sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend.

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Next, add your pre mashed banana.  Dice your apples, peel on, nice and small then add them to your other ingredients.

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Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl to blend, then add your dry ingredients to your wet.  Finally, stir in your blueberries carefully to avoid mashing them.

IMG_7022-3Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake your muffins on the middle rack at 325 until the tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached; about 25 minutes for medium and 30 for large muffins.

Enjoy!

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Soft chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese icing

I haven’t written a blog post in a long time, in fact this is only my second post since my wonderful son was born in early October.  Although I’ve still been baking and cooking up a storm, I just haven’t found the time or energy to write a post.  It seemed fitting that this be my first post in a long while as this cake is one of my mainstays.  It’s everything a chocolate cake should be, but often isn’t: moist, incredibly chocolatey, but not too sweet.  I’ve been making it for years and it’s become one of my husband’s favourites.  I make variations of this recipe, sometimes using chocolate milk or liquor (Khalua) in place of the coffee depending on who my audience is.  I’ve even added pureed raspberries to the mix which gave a delicious fresh fruitiness to the cake.  This cake is delicious with chocolate chips added, however they often sink to the bottom because it is so moist.  My favourite way to serve it is with my incredibly rich cream cheese icing (from my Moist Spiced Carrot Cake recipe).  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup cold brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk (I just use a cup of milk and a tsp of lemon left to sit until it curdles)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Kitchen mixer (or a large bowl and whisk)
Muffin pan
Muffin papers

First, preheat your oven to 350 F and line your muffin pan.  Sift together your dry ingredients then make a well in the center of your mix.

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Add your wet ingredients into the well in the center.

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Mix well.

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Pour your batter into the muffin papers, being careful to leave some space at the top: this recipe expands in the oven.

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Bake about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.  Transfer immediately to a cooling rack while you prepare your icing.

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1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ½ cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat your cream cheese and butter on high until smooth then reduce the heat to low and slowly beat in the icing sugar and vanilla.  Add your icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time to avoid a mess.  Increase the speed to high and continue to beat until your icing is smooth and fluffy.

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I was making these particular cupcakes for a birthday so I decided to colour the icing.  Whenever I colour any icing I use Wilton gel food colouring; you only need a few drops and it doesn’t thin out the icing.  I always add the colouring after the icing is finished, adding a little more until the desired effect is reached.  I’m definitely not a cake decorator and value taste over aesthetic, but it is nice to see a little swirl of colourful icing on top of a yummy cupcake.

The final result!

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