Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hopie's Apple Walnut Muffins

File this one under...Better Late Than Never. Actually, this post has been in the works for a while, because I had a lot to say.

You've probably read us mention Hopie's Kitchen before, but I wanted to take some more time to tell you about our adopted blog. I first started reading Hopie's blog around the beginning of summer and as luck should have it, we ended up paired in the Adopt-a-Blogger program, the brainchild of Kristen from Dish and Dine.

Hopie originates from the USA, but currently lives and works in Paris, France. She blogs about her fantastic recipes in both English and French. I've seen other bilingual (French-English) blogs, but never ones written by an American in Paris.

The short story, according to Hopie (profile picture, above), is:

In 2006, I moved to Paris to become an actress, because I majored in French in college and, honestly, what else was I going to do with that degree? Now I spend my time going to auditions, discovering Paris, and learning all the traditional French cooking I can get my hands on!
She has a bunch of really great recipes, both baked and cooked goods.

During my recent visit with Giz (we have a post about that coming up), we decided to make some of Hopie's muffins together. Giz managed to stick me with peeling the apples while she took out ingredients. You can find the original inspiration at Hopie's blog. These are them:

Apple Walnut Muffins


2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1½ cups coarsely grated or finely chopped, peeled apples

1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
scant ½ tsp salt

5 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
½ cup coarsely-chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400oF.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Stir in the apples and set aside for 10 minutes. This allows the apples to render their juices with the sugar and eggs and makes for moist muffins.

In the meantime, in a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt). Melt the butter on the stove and chop the walnuts.

Once the apple mixture is done sitting, stir in the melted butter and walnuts. Add the flour mixture and fold in until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Be careful not to overmix. Pour batter into greased (or lined) muffin cups.

Bake 14-16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean. Let sit 3-5 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan and letting cool on a cooling rack, or eating immediately.

Both Giz and I were happy that we included larger chunks of apples. The flavour and texture is really nice with them. I also subsituted raisins for walnuts. Giz is convinced that I'm still a really fussy eater. The truth is that I like a range of foods. But am pretty particular about my combinations. Sweet desserts with nuts are not my thing. But raisins, well - you know I come from Raisin Planet.
Overall, the muffins were very nice. Apple, raisin and cinnamon is a flavour combo from heaven.

I'm sending this post over to Ruth's Bookmarked Recipes "where anyone from anywhere can blog about a recipe they had bookmarked from a cook book, food magazine, food blog, food website, from TV etc, make it and submit it to a weekly roundup"

Hopie also tagged us to answer the following:

You can take five items and are allowed one sentence in which to justify your decision. Tag whoever you like and link back! You are on a desert island so assume a plentiful supply of exotic fish, coconuts and sea salt. Ignore any issues regarding storage. There happens to be a very large solar powered refrigerator washed up on the shore as well. Now, on to the list...

Well - let me start off by saying that I am thrilled that a large solar powered refrigerator also washed up on the shore. I'd be screwed otherwise.

1. Does a farm of chickens count? Chicken is a staple for me. Probably my favourite meat. (I'm not good with one line explanations, so I'll break the rules)

2. If fresh water weren't available, I would take a water purification system. Kind of dull, but I become a pretty miserable person when I'm dehydrated.

3. I would take a fruit tree. Something that can withstand the environment. Probably apples because their production is pretty plentiful and enduring. Plus, I love apple juice.

4. I would take a lot of chocolate bars. My favourite is probably Coffee Crisps. Apparently, they're available in the states now too. They're regulars in the convenient stores in Canada.

5. Last. Argh. How can I pick just one? Ok - I'll go with flour. I think I'd rather make breads than eat rice. But, maybe rice flour would work too.

Now - I need to tag 5 people to complete this.

I'm curious what Grace, Evil Chef Mom, Kat, Jaden (check out yesterday's post about her Chino-Latino Wings) and Baking Blondie.

Thank you to Hopie for the recent award.

We'd like to pass it on to a few fellow bloggers:

1. That Girl, who posts loyally about the food that she and That Boy eat.
2. Noble Pig who makes really appealing recipes and can tell a story like nobody's business.
3. Julia at Cook, Eat, Grow - whose brain I would love to pick for a year. Her knowledge of growing and cooking food is great.
4. Ben from What's Cooking - I have to remember to submit to his monthly Baking Event. I have an upcoming meal that was inspired by Ben's post. I'll share it with you soon.

Also, here's Giz to pass on the award we received by Ivy.

To continue the love toward Hopie, we'd like to pass this award on to our adoptive blog, Hopie's Kitchen. If you haven't already checked out her blog, this post will hopefully change that.

Courtney at Coco Cooks , a diehard blogger and incredible cook wins and deserves the "Yum Yum"

Lis, the soon to be Mrs. (or still Ms., if you prefer) of Cream Puffs in Venice charms me with her continuous flow of yummy dishes.

Barb at Winos and Foodies for enriching our food and wine awareness. StumbleUpon


Julia said...

Psychgrad -- thanks so much for the award and the kind words!!

April was in CA now MA said...

YUM! These muffins sound like a perfect combo of flavors. I love apples, cinnamon and raisins together. Thanks for some new blogs to check out!

While visiting Michigan once I went to Canada JUST to get Coffee Crisp. I bought 5 bags of snack sized and I haven't had any since I got so sick of them. I had a serious Coffee Crisp addiction going on at the time though. This was before they were sold in the states and I can't even remember where I first had one!

Lori Lynn said...

Nice to get to know Hopie.
I like the big chunks of apple in those muffins too!

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you gals, you are too kind.

The muffins also look great! I love apples and walnuts together, it's the perfect combo!

Deeba PAB said...

Congrats on the awards & thanks for some great links. Those muffins look yum. I'm all for anything fruit; add some walnuts & WOOHOO!!

PG said...

april in ct - that's hilarious that you went to Canada to buy some chocolate bars. Mind you, I know people who go to the states to buy food there too (cough GIZ cough).

I try to eat them in moderation because I could imagine getting tired of them...not to mention that they don't exactly fall into the fruits and vegetable food groups.

giz said...

Psychgrad - let's not forget the umpteen trips to the U.S. just to visit Bath and Body and who actually joins in being the beneficiary for those trips...hmmmmmm?

glamah16 said...

Awww. Shucks you guys! Thank you. I have been bad lately, but hope to rectify that. Hopis blog sounds facinating. Off to check her out.

Half Baked said...

Those muffins look terrific! Congrats on the award!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on all those awards! The muffins look great. And what would we do without chocolate bars?

Barbara said...

Thank you for the award. You are so kind.

OhioMom said...

These truly look yummy .. apples, cinnamon and nuts oh yeah!

kat said...

hmmm this is going to take some that

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Thanks for the tag!

That Girl said...

I love your blog too!

pam said...

Those muffins look great. I love big chunks of apple too.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Girls, I have to go visit Hopie, she sounds like fun!
I love the big chunks of apple you have going on in there, but I would have to put the nuts in along with the raisens! :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I am a fan of chunky apples in baked goods too (along with raisins, but I'll also be happy with nuts). Now that you mention it, they really *don't* have Coffee Crisp here in the States, and... they also don't have the candy-coated chocolate Smarties. Their Smarties are the equivalent of our (Canadian) "rockets" - you know those pastel-coloured candies that can also come in necklaces? Those ones heh heh.
Anyway, thanks for dropping by my blog! I'll be visiting yours again soon.
- Jacqueline

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, those look like mini apple pies! Yum!

Hopie said...

Great minds think alike. I made one of your recipes this week that I'm about to post about. I feel so special having Hopie day on your blog :-) You guys are great blog mentors!

Chunks of apples are yummy in muffins. I had never tried them finely chopped before I made these muffins, but it makes for overall moist, apple-y goodness even if you don't have actual bites of apple. I'll have to try your way next. I have so many apples!!

test it comm said...

I really like those huge chunks of apple!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
grace said...

goooooood-lookin' muffins! and thanks for the tag--i'm gonna have to give this one some serious thought. :)

Anonymous said...

Better late than never... I, the person who heads up Adopt a Blogger, have yet to make something from my adoptees blog. I'm a bad mama!

Ruth Strong said...

These look awesome. I love that they're packed full of apple

Thanks for sending this into bookmarked recipes

nibblescribbler said...

WOWZERS - I've never seen muffins so packed with fruit!!!

Am instantly inspired and will make some of them for my friend's birthday next week.

And, Psychgrad, I don't care what you say...I'm still going to classify them as 'fruit intake'. Come on - look at the chunks!!!

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