Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dark Days Challenge Week 6: Buckwheat Apple and Chocolate Chip Muffins

I know Valentine's Day is the day you are supposed to bake a deliciously decadent chocolate treat, but between feeling like I overloaded on sweets last week, and reading that eating too much sugar is bad for you in Nina Planck's Real Food: What to Eat and Why I decided to take it easy and make muffins. Plus Jesse coerced me into getting a huge bag of buckwheat flour at the farmers market last week, so I needed to start using that up.

I still haven't found my tried and true muffin recipe. I tend to play around with them, and they usually come out okay anyway. This time, I used half honey and half sugar to cut down on the sugariness that would go straight to my bloodstream. Then I used the wetness of the honey as an excuse to cut down on the oil/eggs. And you know what, this recipe worked out great. Delicious and moist, with a touch of the buckwheat taste that I love in pancakes. You could also replace the buckwheat flour with more whole wheat flour or white flour.

Just be careful or you will eat half the muffins yourself in one sitting. You should aim to at least save a few for breakfast the next morning, or else what's the point of making muffins? These are definitely better for you than the ginormous muffins you might get at a nearby bakery on your way to work. Who even knows what's in those things? Corn syrup, god forbid.

Buckwheat Apple and Chocolate Chip Muffins

1/3 cup canola oil (or olive oil)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger (optional)
1 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 apple, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Then dump dry ingredients over wet mixture and stir till mixture is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and apple. Distribute among greased muffin pan. Bake for 22-30 minutes, until knife inserted comes out mostly clean. Let cool for ten minutes before removing from muffin pan.

The flour, eggs, and apple for this recipe were local. I could have used local milk if I hadn't run out out of it earlier this week. I think this might work with 1/2 cup local butter in place of the oil too. But isn't butter supposed to be more of a cookie thing and oil more of a cake/muffin thing? I still haven't figured out the difference. My cakes and muffins err on the dense side while my cookies err on the light cakey side. Traditional baking 101 this is not.

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