An Autumn Weekend and Returning to “Real Life”

Happy Monday, everyone! As you read this, I’ll either be on my way or already going through my first day of work as a lawyer in NYC. I definitely have a sense that this is truly a season of change, as my life shifts from one phase to another. I’m nervous and excited all at once, and I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes – I’ve really enjoyed all the time I got to spend blogging this summer and early autumn, and will be keeping at it. My goal is to post 3-4 days per week, rather than the 5-6 I’ve been posting, but still enough to share all the recipes, running, life updates and random thoughts you care to read about ūüôā

 

 

Autumn in Ridgefield, Connecticut

 

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Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins

It’s official: my kitchen is experiencing olfactory overload. So many new recipes to try, and only so much winter break in which to try them!

This latest batch of muffins may seem familiar, cousins of my Banana-Maple-Oat and Apple-Berry-Nana creations. But these include a delightful twist of caramel, invisible in their warm golden-brown tops while infusing the scrumptious first bite. Enjoy!

 

Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins

Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (I love Country Choice Organic Gluten Free Rolled Oats)

1/2 large apple

2 large eggs

1/3 cup brown sugar

4 oz unsweetened applesauce (you can also use sweetened and decrease the sugar)

6 oz 2% vanilla or apple Greek yogurt (I love using the seasonal flavors, like Chobani 2% Apple Cinnamon or Dannon Caramel Apple, but unfortunately yogurt makers think we only like these in the autumn РFALSE!)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup¬†caramel sauce (you can make your own, of course – this is the next skill I’ll tackle, but for now I used Stonewall Kitchen Sea Salt Caramel Sauce)

2-3 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

Butter, oil, or cooking spray (for the muffin tin)

 

Instructions:

Cinnamuffin Batter

Cinnamuffin Batter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with butter, oil or cooking spray.

3. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

4. Chop up half an apple into small cubes and toss into bowl.

5. Add egg, yogurt, and applesauce.

6. Mix well until the batter is uniform. This should be about 12-15 good stirs.

7. Now, for the caramel! I simply put my caramel sauce in at this stage and mix 4-5 more times so it becomes part of the batter, because I like the flavor throughout the muffin. However, you can also keep the caramel separate and fill each muffin tin about 2/3 of the way, then place a dollop of the sauce on top before adding the last bit of batter. This gives you a caramel center for each muffin, which can be a scrumptious surprise! I just like to mix it in, and then pour the batter into the muffin tin.

8. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

9. Let cool.

10. Enjoy!

 

 

Bursting with apples, cinnamon and caramel!

Bursting with apples, cinnamon and caramel!

 

 

 

© 2014 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

More Marvelous Muffins: Apple-Berry-Nana Edition

The winter chill is in the air, I’ve got some time off from school, and I’m in training for a race – let the muffin-making commence! Like their banana-maple siblings, these muffins are made with gluten-free rolled oats and Greek yogurt, resulting in a hearty morsel of¬†goodness. Using apples and blueberries with less banana results in a slightly fluffier texture, and a few secret ingredients create a crisp, browned muffin-top that sets them apart. The fruit is definitely the star of the show with these muffins, perfect to grab anytime you’re feeling like a healthy treat.

 

All the fruit!

All the fruit!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1¬†small banana (roughly 6″ long)

1/2 cup chopped apple (about half of a regular-sized apple)

1/2 cup blueberries

2 oz unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sweetener (I use brown sugar and stevia, but agave can also work great here)

6 oz 2% plain Greek yogurt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2-3 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

 

 

Muffin batter with fruit mixed in

Muffin batter with fruit mixed in

Instructions:

1. Dice apple and banana into small chunks.

2. Combine oats, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl.

3. Add eggs, yogurt, and applesauce. Mix the batter until it gets to a uniform color, about 8-10 good stirs. Add the fruit, and mix another 4-5 stirs. Once the batter is a smooth, uniform consistency with the exception of oats and fruit, stop stirring.

4. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

5. Let cool.

6. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Muffins fresh from the oven, tops nicely browned!

Muffins fresh from the oven, tops nicely browned! (I just had to taste test one immediately…)

 

 

 

© 2014 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.