19 September 2013

Falling Hard Cider Apple Muffins/Muffbars

Avast! Happy International Talk like a Pirate Day! 

Throwback Thursday, circa 2007, when I began celebrating ITLAPD by wearing my pirate shirt to school. I raise a mug of tea, stolen off a British schooner, to ye.

One of my deal-breaker traits for friendships and dates is that I am straightedge. I don't drink or do drugs. It's a nonnegotiable. I do, however, cook with alcohol. When I learned the theme for this week's Foodie Call was "local," I recalled ringing up someone for a six-pack of Virginian cider. I also had a hankering for beer bread muffins, which I made around the same time last year. 

I have also wanted to make vegan stout cupcakes for the longest time. I mishmashed a vegan beer cupcake recipe with my beer muffins concept to make a liquid-based sweetener quickbread cupcake...or in the case of the demo, muffbars. Muffbars, or lazy muffins, take advantage of science (it works, bitches) to make a batch of muffins bake faster. By increasing the surface area of the batter, quickbread in a big, shallow pan takes almost half the time! And it serves more people! Success! 

While I gave out stingy portions yesterday, the recipe is simple enough, and it triples well, so you too can eat as many as you want (and get buzzed from licking the spatula...says the girl with low alcohol tolerance). I made it with cider yesterday and made a tester batch on Monday with Redbridge and granola. Both were delicious for breakfast and dessert.

 Beer and Granola Version

Hard Cider Apple Muffins
Modified from "Winter Woodchuck Cupcakes," http://www.cupcakesfordinner.com/2012/11/28/winter-woodchuck-hard-cider-cupcakes/

1/3 cup canola oil (or coconut oil, mostly melted)
1/2 cup agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
16 ounces hard cider OR GF beer

2/3 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup millet flour OR teff flour
2/3 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 cup tahini granola/dried apple pieces/raisins/nuts/cacao nibs/whatever

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. lime a 12-well muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the wet ingredients and ground flaxseed. Cold cider may make the coconut oil resolidify and that is OK. In a large bowl, sift then whisk together the dry ingredients. add wet to dry and fold in the chunks. Mix until just combined.

Transfer to the muffin tin. Bake for 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean and the tops spring back to the touch.

Cool in the pan for 7 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Serve with a smile...

Parting shots:
Besides baking muffins on Monday, I made more food than I can hope to eat in a week, but that's the point. Muffins, brown rice, protein shakes (which I freeze), sweet potatoes, pesto hommos, quinoa, and roasted asparagus.

How I melt coconut oil: in a glass on top of the preheating oven. Works pretty well.

This dress from my Great Aunt Ann is just too damn cute not to share. Can you guess where the dressing room is?

Raspberry juice from making smoothies...Sweeney Todd of the veggies is in the house.

The Friday deal a few weeks ago wasn't chicken...it was dinosaur.

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