Whistle While We Bake

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So, I’ve been hanging out with my Doodle and his cousin all morning.  Jake has a friend who has recently been battling brain cancer, so we’re going to a fundraiser for him tonight and I’m bringing some baked goodies.  My little shadows are “helping” me by getting far too close to the oven, trying to get in between me and the counter, begging for muffins and cookies, and taste testing everything to make sure it’s good to bring to the fundraiser.

Now, I’ve been working on expanding my baking horizons the past several years, but there are two things I’ve been terrified of – cakes and brownies from scratch.  Not that they’re that ultimately hard, I just really hate failing at something and wasting a whole bunch of ingredients.  So, as I’m making my usual cookies and muffins, I decide to go for bad on brownies.  I make everything exactly as the recipe says (which is remarkable, as I’m always tinkering with some directions) then I put them in the pan and go for bad.  Only, I realize about 10 minutes after they should be done and they’re still gooey in the middle that the directions called for a 9×9 pan and I only have an 8×8.  I thought it looked a little thick.  :/  So once the middle was done, I pull it out to cool and all around them is crazy burnt.  Now, I’m not only out brownies for the fundraiser, but I need to make something else to fill the brownies’ place…  hmm…

I give you, applesauce muffins.  🙂  I started with a recipe here, but I can never leave well enough alone, so here’s my version:

1 cup butter, melted (so much easier to mix than softened, just make sure it’s cooled so you don’t cook the eggs!)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla (the original tsp just didn’t feel like enough for 2 dozen)
2 cups applesauce
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I just had to throw it in there!  What kind of recipe doesn’t have salt!?)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (I did not have allspice, so my go-to combo of all wonderful fall spices was my solution)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
A whole bunch of coarse sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw) and more cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375.  You won’t be cooking at this temp, but you’ll see why!

Cream together butter and sugar, mix in eggs and vanilla, then mix in applesauce.

In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and measured spices.

Combine your wet and dry ingredients just until mixed.  I’ve learned the hard way several times not to overmix muffin/quick bread batter if you don’t like eating hockey pucks.  :/

Fill almost completely your lined or greased muffin tin, then sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of the coarse sugar/cinnamon combo on top of each of them.

Put them in the oven, and immediately turn the temp down to 350.  This will help give them that beautiful dome and that wonderful fluffy texture.  🙂  This recipe should make you 2 dozen perfect muffins that you can’t stop eating.  First time I made them, I hauled off on 4 not 10 minutes after they came out of the oven.  Oops!

Here they are, all wrapped up and ready to go raise funds and make bellies happy!  Must resist eating them!

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