Partner in Grime has taken to requesting a muffin packed into his lunch to eat mid morning (at which time his 5:30 a.m. bowl o'Grape Nuts has worn off). Since I love to bake, not a problem, but I try and make a different recipe each weekend so he's not eating the same kind every day as muffins freeze well, and I can keep an assortment of types on hand.
This was this weekend's experiment and it turned out VERY tasty. I'd not call it a particularly healthy muffin (you could replace some of the butter with more applesauce and reduce the sugar) but Partner requested I keep it just the way it is. The spice mixture, though, really makes them zing and the butter makes the edges sort of crisp like really good cornbread gets when you bake it in a cast iron skillet.
Applesauce Spice Muffins
In a small bowl mix:
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking SODA (NOT baking powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (it's a Scandinavian spice and most larger grocers should carry)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
In big microwave safe bowl:
soften one stick of butter in the microwave until just starting to melt
Cream, which means mix the "HBO word" out of it with an electric hand mixture set on high - both the softened stick of butter and 1 cup of sugar.
then on lower speed, mix in:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup applesauce.
Hand stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until you no longer see any raw flour bits and dough is uniformly moist.
Spoon into a dozen muffin cups sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle tops with a pinch or two of sugar on each one.
Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven for 22-24 minutes until the edges are lightly brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Set on top of a wire rack until somewhat cool then remove to a plate (if you let bread products completely cool in their pan they can get a bit soggy).