15 December 2010

Chai-Spice Jam Whole Wheat Muffins

I have to write a 20 page paper today, but a Goofy Gourmet post seems much easier to accomplish. So I'm going to warm up to my assignment by telling you about the lightest and most tender whole wheat muffins I've ever eaten. I invented them by borrowing ideas from 3 different Tassajara Bread Book muffin recipes and making several of my own alterations. I think you might even be able to make them vegan if you add another 1/2 Cup of soy milk and remove the egg. But I haven't tried that because 1 egg per 12 muffins seems a decent price to pay to have them hold together! Please let me know if it works out for you.

George and I have found that substituting soy milk for cow milk in baking always makes a lighter, better product. And substituting applesauce for butter, teaspoon for teaspoon, moistens the product and also makes us feel happier about eating it. These muffins dry out quickly so as soon as they've cooled off just a little, seal them in an air-tight container. I find that a serving is about half a muffin, so I slice most of them in half before storage. Makes 12 delicious muffins.

2 Cups whole wheat flour (King Arthur is a good worker-owned brand)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup jam/ fruit preserves (strawberry worked well for me)
1/4 Cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 Cups plain soy milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2-3/4 Cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
a generous 1/2 teaspoon - 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or several gratings of fresh nutmeg

1. Combine dry ingredients in a big bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
3. Fold wet and dry ingredients together so that they are thoroughly mixed but don't overdo it.
4. Spray a light cooking spray over a regular 12-muffin muffin muffin tin. Fill each muffin depression 3/4ths of the way full with batter.
5. Cook 8 minutes. Then turn the muffin tin around in the oven and cook another 8 minutes.
6. Test with a toothpick. If still raw in the middle or bottom, cook another 3 minutes and check again.

Serve with a big pot of tea, a quick affectionate squeeze, and a kiss on the keppe. Tell them, "Go ahead, take all time you like!"

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