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First and foremost, I must apologize to anyone that visits this blog for my extreme tardiness in posting new recipes lately. I won’t lie – I truly, honestly, sincerely felt so guilty not doing it, but something or the other kept me away. So, here I am, trying to keep up my promise to post the recipe for the simply wonderful and autumny apple muffins that I had posted a picture of earlier this week!

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Something about fall and the crisp air! As the temperature drops, apples take on a whole new dimension! They somehow make fall the best season and they also try to comfort you into believing winter wont be that terrible after all. I have tried to play around with several recipes, but wanted to try a recipe that not only looked great, but also tasted wonderful! That’s when I stumbled upon this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. She has great recipes on her site – so if you are looking for some comfort recipes, you should visit her site. 🙂

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So, back to this recipe…true to what she mentions in her recipe, these muffins do rise well, and taste so cake-like and full of apple goodness. I did use some apple cider in the wet ingredients per one of the reader comments and skipped the glaze. Honestly, I don’t think the glaze is really needed except for that picture perfect oozy look! Yum!

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Whip up these muffins this weekend and watch them disappear!

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Autumn Apple Muffins

  • Servings: 12
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Ingredients
Muffin Batter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup plain, fat free Greek (or regular) yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (better the quality, better the cinnamony goodness)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white, whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apple cider
2 small Gala apples (or any firm kind), peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes

Crumb Topping
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a muffin pan with 12 liners and set aside.
2. Prepare the crumb topping: Combine all ingredients and gently toss together till they are crumbly. Set aside (wow, that was easy!)
3. Using a handheld mixer, cream butter. Add the sugars and beat for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Beat in the eggs, yogurt, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and set the bowl aside.
5. In a separate bowl, toss together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and slowly mix with a rubber spatula or whisk. Add the milk, gently stirring to mix in. Small lumps are OK. Fold in the apples.
6. Spoon the muffin batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. The tins will be quite full, which is great for making tall-domed muffins!
7. Distribute the crumb topping evenly over all the batter, pressing lightly with your hands so the crumbs will stick to the baked muffins.
8. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425°F, then reduce heat to 350F and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes, till the top is golden and muffin tests done.
9. Let the baked muffins stay in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Cooled muffins can be stored at room temperature for about 5 days. These freeze well as well.

Enjoy!

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Special (Diet) Snickerdoodles

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Honestly, I didn’t know what to call this recipe. I came across the recipe somewhere online and can’t seem to trace back my steps. I was searching frantically for a gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free cookie recipe the other day. As you can imagine, too much “free” meant I was coming up empty with my search results, until I came across this recipe. Even though, it is gluten and dairy free, it was so addictive and delicious, it is definitely going to be a keeper! So, even though the title of this recipe is Special Diet Snickerdoodles, I really have to de-emphasize the diet part as this cookie is too delicious to be a diet cookie!

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I was dismissing all the other recipes as I thought my special guest wouldn’t eat anything with even unrefined sweeteners like maple syrup. Boy, was I glad she actually was OK with that. Yes!

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I couldn’t control my joy when I found out the recipe used almond flour/meal rather than myriads of others that I came across using other not-so-common flours like coconut flour etc. Since I had almond meal and some Vermont maple syrup on hand, this recipe was going to be it!

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This recipe is so quick to make and requires such few ingredients, I am sure this will become a go-to recipe for you even when you don’t have to make this for someone who is gluten and dairy-free!

Special (Diet) Snickerdoodles

  • Servings: 20-24 cookies
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Ingredients:
2 cups almond flour/meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup melted shortening
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon stevia or refined sugar

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Combine almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl.
3. In a small bowl, combine melted shortening and maple syrup. Add vanilla essence and stir well.
4. Add liquid ingredients to the almond flour mixture and combine to make a wet dough.
5. Make 20-24 equal size dough balls (about 1″ diameter).
6. Stir together 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and stevia (or regular sugar). Dip the dough balls in the cinnamon mixture.
7. Transfer the dough balls to the parchment lined baking sheet. Using tips of your fingers, or glass bottom of a jar, flatten the balls into a disk about 2 1/2″ wide.
8. Bake for about 8 minutes. The center will look soft and uncooked, but the cookies will continue to cook while cooling.
9. Let the cookies cool completely on the tray. Remove then and store in an airtight container.

Crispy, Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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When it comes to cookies, I would imagine the two leading contenders are probably chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin? Maybe it’s peanut butter something instead of oatmeal raisin. Although I do enjoy a yummy chocolate chip cookie once in a while, I tend to lean a bit more towards chewy oatmeal raisin. The bite and chewiness of oats, soft sweetness of raisins…mmmm….

So, when I decided to bake a surprise batch of cookies for the kids (and…ahem…mom and dad), I thought of combining the two cookies. Although I didn’t add any raisins in this recipe, I might consider adding some the next time I make these cookies.

I try to substitute at least some of the all-purpose flour with something more nutritious like oats, ground flax etc. This recipe lends itself perfectly to that – if you wish to replace about 1/4 cup of flour with ground flax etc. Also, I chose to use mini chocolate chips in this recipe in an attempt to have bit of chocolate in every bite and to reduce the total amount of chocolate. It worked out perfectly.

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Do use only about a teaspoon of dough at least 2 inches apart. The cookies spread well and results in a thin cookie with a perfect crispy texture when you first bite, quickly leading to a pleasant chewiness. This was a huge hit with my family as well as my kids’ friends. I think you will enjoy it.

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If you bake these, let me know how they turn out. I would love to hear about your experience.

Crispy, chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

  • Servings: 30 cookies
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Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup (heaping) ground flax
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 larger egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine flour, oats, ground flax, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
3. In a large bowl, beat softened butter with the sugars till well combined.
4. Add egg and beat for another minute. Stir in vanilla.
5. Slowly add flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until just combined.
6. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Dough might feel a bit wet, but that’s OK.
7. Scoop the dough by teaspoon size onto a cookie sheet, spacing each scoop by at least 2 inches.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes till edges are light brown and the cookie has spread well.
9. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes on the tray and finish cooling on a cooling rack.
10. Store in airtight container.