I was going to present to you photos and writings about beautiful grape leaves. Bright, flavorful grape leaves that had been lovingly stuffed, rolled, and cooked over low heat in a slow cooker for several hours before being presented and served as part of a delicious Mediterranean dinner.
Instead you’re getting muffins.
You shouldn’t be disappointed because these are really good muffins. I, however, am slightly disappointed because I was really excited about grape leaves.
But I suppose sometimes we all fall prey to kitchen disasters and my grape leaves were a casualty. I started making them on a day that had been a bit rough for me. I was feeling frustrated and cranky and worn out. It happens.
Anyway, I was looking forward to the meditative act of cooking and set to it. In my funky state, however, I got so caught up in rinsing, patting dry, and de-stemming each individual grape leaf that I didn’t pay proper attention to the filling mixture that was cooking away on the stove-top. Needless to say when I checked on it, it was too late. Burnt rice is nobody’s friend.
Thanks to Trader Joe’s being about a minute away from my apartment, I managed to still serve a full dinner by adding on some pre-made TJ’s appetizers to the rest of the food that I was making (my fattoosh salad, homemade paprika-spiced hummus, and pita bread), but my cooking pride took a hit nonetheless.
The next day, I needed to redeem myself, so muffins happened. This muffin recipe is adapted from a cookbook that I borrowed from my local library. Loads of tasty looking things live in this cookbook, by the way, and I was certainly pleased about how these turned out. I am a huge fan of the texture of these muffins, as well as the minimal sugar content. If you like them sweeter, you can certainly add additional agave or a bit of sugar (I would recommend turbinado or light brown sugar), but I also found that spreading a bit of apricot preserves on them before eating finished them off nicely.
Enjoy them for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Or, as the cookbook originally suggested, with a cup of tea. Just please make sure you are feeling quite proper and sophisticated if you enjoy them with tea. Tea tastes best that way.
Adapted from The Karma Chow Cookbook
Makes 12 muffins
1 ½ cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 ½ tspn baking powder
1 tspn baking soda
½ tspn salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 ½ tspn ground cinnamon
½ tspn ground nutmeg
3 tblspns coconut oil, melted
3 tblspns unsweetened apple sauce
½ cup apricot preserves, jam, or spread (sweetened or unsweetened, per your preference – I used sweetened because it’s what I had on hand)
¼ cup agave nectar (if you used unsweetened preserves, you may want to add a bit more)
½ cup milk of your choice (I used non-dairy milk – Pacific 7-Grain)
2 tspns vanilla extract
2 tblspns egg replacer + 6 tblspns water, mixed (or 2 eggs if you prefer)
½ cup dried apricots, chopped into bits
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your muffin tins (you will need 12 muffin cups) with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine melted coconut oil, applesauce, apricot spread, agave nectar, milk, vanilla, and egg replacer or eggs. Whisk together until ingredients are incorporated. (Tip: melt, measure and add in your coconut oil last to prevent it from hardening while you prepare the other ingredients)
- Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir together to combine all ingredients. Stir until smooth. Then, pour in chopped apricots and stir together just a few more times to distribute apricot chunks.
- Distribute your batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups (approximately ¼ cup of batter per muffin). Bake 16-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
- Place muffin tins on a wire rack to begin to cool for 3-5 minutes. Then, remove muffins and let cool completely on a wire rack.
These muffins can be enjoyed just as they are, drizzled with agave or honey, or topped with additional fruit preserves (I tried them all the ways!).