Friday, April 25, 2008

Blog Recipe Filching: Smitten Kitchen's Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

I usually think of myself as a bake-o-phobic. And when you look at the multitude of blogs with crazy amounts of elaborate batters, doughs, cakes, crepes and the like (or just look at Tartelette), by comparison, I still am. But I’ve made a little headway (I’m sure you’re riveted. This is scintillating stuff.), and am not so fearful a baker as I was, say, when I made my brother a (not very good) birthday cake last year (Yes, dude, that probably means I will try again this year. You might want to start lobbying for a tart or pie now, although I will say, the birthday cake I made for Curly, and for our father, is pretty good.). Anyway. This whole reading other people's blogs thing has really made me look around (for me), and it’s gotten me to try baking more often. I’ve long made focaccia and pizza, and there have been a few staple cakes (read: coffee cakes) that I’ve made, but otherwise? I buy that stuff at bakeries. And there are so, so many good bakeries in Seattle. But lately, with Stumpy’s long, slow recovery, and a resulting boulder of chores to roll up a mountain, in comical (but a little depressing) Sisyphus meets Wile E. Coyote fashion… I’ve been tired. Running out to a bakery, even Bakery Nouveau or CafĂ© Besalu, has started to feel like another chore, in a long, loong list of chores. Enough of a chore that baking it at home and doing the dishes seems, somehow, simpler. Because then, at least, I can mix it and bake it during commercial breaks of Lost. I have to say, Jack getting sick/wounded is not even a little suspenseful when we know that he survives. Can't the writers make someone whose fate hasn't been secured get sick? Have some actual suspense, instead of offing random extras, who we only meet as they get shot? And if the writers are going to skip suspense, would they at least have a hot guy take his shirt off? Because isn't that a rule of lazy writing? If you've gone on cruise control, have someone hot take their shirt off? Anyway. So a little while ago, I made Claudia’s banana bread, which was the very first time I ever (yes, ever) baked with whole wheat flour. And I could feel my eyebrows go up into my hairline as I ate and had a dim person’s epiphany that whole wheat flour is not just used to make whole wheat bread and stuff that tastes like healthful cardboard. It can be used to add flavor. Huh. Since I’ve spent most of my life being a bake-o-phobe, this was not a concept I had ever picked up. My mom? Tremendous baker. Perfectly willing to show me mysterious baking stuff. Which, aside from somewhere along the line (probably sullenly and reluctantly, which had to have been fun for Mom) learning about kneading and rising, I studiously ignored, because… I’m smaaht.
So last night, during (the men-prudishly-keeping-their-shirts-on episode) Lost, I mixed up the whole wheat apple muffins from Smitten Kitchen, only as a cake. I am extremely partial to breakfast cakes (was the last post about the war on suet? The Battle of The Apple Cake seems to be a victory for the suet). This one was everything I like in a cake: forgiving to make (I might have forgotten about it in the oven while watching Lost), delicious to eat. It was moist and lovely, with a decided wheat-y flavor, but the moistness made that a good thing. The kids gave it a double thumbs up (although Curly did ask when I was going to make the banana bread with chocolate chips again), like mini Fonzies, and their breakfast went down their gullets in a flash, with no prolonged, aneurysm-inducing negotiations along the lines of: “I’m full. Can I be done? How many more bites do I have to have before I can be done?”, after two bites. Suet may have won The Battle of The Apple Cake, but I think it was worth it given the overwhelming victory in the Battle of Getting The Kids To Eat Their Damn Breakfasts, Already.


cook eat FRET said...


Meg said...

It rocked, as a recipe. I made it Thursday, and we're down to one last, lonely piece.

AJD said...

Another three votes for goodness - both E & S enjoyed them, even though they'd already had breakfast. Gotta love the chunks of apple that ended up on the bottom and slightly caramelized...

BTW, I've been baking bread from "Artisan Bread in 5 mins./day" (or something similar...). If you're looking for bread that's fairly idiot-proof (aka: my idea of a recipe), this one covers it. They're lying (of course), but it does quicken up the process, and give a lot more flexibility as to when you want to mix vs. bake, as opposed to doing it all at once. The IEN can go through about 2/3 of a loaf for a snack, so don't say you haven't been warned (& b4 you call to nag, I'm working on it ;-) )

homebody at heart said...


That is one reason I watch Serie A (Italian) and La Liga (Spanish) soccer! The slim, off-chance that overcome with happiness and willing to chance a yellow card for over-exuberance, one of the players will rip his shirt off displaying a smoothly-shaved chest and ripped abs....err, what was your post about?

Meg said...

Homebody- I could have sworn I replied already, but I don't see anything on comments. How many soccer players AREN'T more likeable with their shirts off? David Beckham with shirt? Posh's reasonably hot boy-bot. Without shirt? That man should win the NOBEL Prize for Peace-Fighting Abs. Now I don't remember what my post was about, either.

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Meg said...

Alena- thanks. I woke up in a wretched mood (thanks to the ongoing hassle the Seattle schools' superintendent is creating for many parents in the school district), and that improved it. So... thanks.