As I have baked my way through the weeks of the year (so far), I have accomplished a few things. Most importantly, and the reason why I started this baking project in the first place, I have really gotten a lot better at this whole baking thing. Not only do I know what I am doing when I set out to make a really great baked good, but I am confident. I have grown so confident, in fact, that I have slowly started to develop my own recipes–and they don’t suck. I am completely blown away by the progress I have made in just the last few months, and I am excited to see where the rest of the year takes me and my baking skills.
But every victory comes with a downside, and the downside of 52 Weeks of Baking Love is that I seem to have made my fiance fat.
That isn’t a statement made by me. I am not the type of person who would ever think to police someone’s body, especially that of someone I love; unless it was to tell him how much I enjoy it. No, that assessment of the size of his body and an explanation about his lack of confidence in it, came directly from him, quite vocally, after I made the fudge brownie cupcakes with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting. Apparently not only were those cupcakes decadent, and yes, a little over the top, but they also became a representation of the amount of calories I have baked up every week since January.
Between my fiance telling me that he did not like the direction his body, and by extension his health, was going while enjoying the products of my weekly baking challenges, and his mother making a comment about how this project “kind of promotes diabetes,” I decided it was time to go a little healthier with my baking.
With the help of Sally’s Baking Addiction (obviously I cannot get enough of her blog, or her baked goods), I learned quite a bit about healthy baking, and made muffins that upon first bite immediately became my absolute favorite muffins ever–apple pie muffins.
If I didn’t make these muffins myself, I wouldn’t believe that they are healthy. They don’t even come close to tasting like “health food,” yet because they are made with whole wheat flour, fat free yogurt, unsweetened applesauce (that replaces vegetable oil and significantly lowers their fat content), and only contain 1/4 cup of white sugar, they are.
They are practically bursting with real chunks of apple and topped with the most delicious oat streusel known to humankind. Considering that muffins are easily one oft he most convenient breakfast options ever, you really can’t go wrong with these. Seriously, they are amazing.
Sure to strengthen the universal addiction to the tops of muffins
Also, look at the height of these muffins! I can’t even believe that I pulled this off, but (another testament to Sally’s Baking Addiction) following some extremely helpful tips about how to achieve high-domed, fluffy muffins, I did.
The secret? Extremely thick batter, filling the muffin tins all the way to the top, starting the baking temperature at 425°F for the first five minutes, and then lowering the temperature down to 375°F for the remainder of the baking time. The outcome is super high, bakery-style muffins you don’t even have to leave the house to get.