One of my favorite things to do in this world is to cook. It’s something I have been doing since I was a little girl. I started back in Arizona with my grandfather in his giant kitchen and it's something I have only fallen in love with more and more as the years have gone by. So this morning I woke up and decided that instead of spending the whole day in bed I was going to try a recipe from the cookbook my grandma gave me for Christmas - Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter. I am a big fan of Gwynnie (been reading her blog GOOP since 2009) and this recipe proves that she is a woman who knows her way around the kitchen.
Seeing as how this recipe called for a few bizarre ingredients (spelt flour??) I headed to Whole Foods to stock my kitchen with the ingredients I needed to make these vegan-friendly muffins (I know what you're thinking – vegan?? gross, but just stop bitching and give it a try before you decide it’s disgusting):
[clockwise from top: cinnamon, vanilla extract (optional), unrefined dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, allspice, vegetable oil, soymilk, spelt flour (both white and whole), pure maple syrup, apples, chopped walnuts, salt, whole rolled oats]
Okay, so after preheating the oven to 350 I started by making the crumb topping for the muffins - ¼ c. white spelt flour, ¼ c. whole spelt flour, ¼ c. whole rolled oats, ¼ c. unrefined dark brown sugar, 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, pinch of salt, 2 tbls. vegetable oil, and 1 tbls. soy milk.
Mix together all of the dry ingredients and then add the soymilk and vegetable oil. Pinch together until the mixture becomes crumbly. (I’ll admit I cheated here. I used whole milk and butter instead of the soymilk and veggie oil.)
Next gather up 1 tbls. cornstarch, 1 c. finely diced peeled apple, ½ c. vegetable oil, ½ c. plus 2 tbls. real maple syrup, ½ c. plus 2 tbls. soy milk, 1 c. white spelt flour, 1 c. whole spelt flour, 2 ¼ tsp. baking powder, ½ tsp. baking soda, ¼ tsp. salt, 2 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. allspice, ½ c. lightly toasted walnuts chopped.
Toss the apples and cornstarch tother in a bowl and set aside. Also set the toasted walnuts aside. Then in a large bowl mix together the vegetable oil, maple syrup, and soy milk. Slowly sift in the remaining ingredients and whisk together until completely mixed. Finally fold in the apples and walnuts.
Of course I forgot to buy muffin liners when I was at the store so instead I just cut up some pieces of parchment paper (5" x 5") and brushed the insides with butter so the muffins wouldn't stick (if you want to stick with the vegan theme vegetable oil works just as well). To make sure none of the dough got between the folds of the parchment paper I ran my fingers along the inside of the paper after I fit them into the cup and creased all of the folds firmly.
Taste test results = GOOD. I think next time I would use more apples and not chop them so finely, but otherwise this is a really good recipe. The muffin is moist and soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, in other words PERFECT texture. They aren’t too sweet and apparently the spelt flour is easier for our tummies to digest. Try this recipe out and let me know what you think! (ps, I think I am going to made another batch using eggs, whole milk, and butter just to see if it makes any difference in flavor.)