Spiced Apple Muffins

spiced apple muffins

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and tomorrow is “bring your teacher a treat” day at Rowan’s school so I thought maybe we could make something together.  Going through Mema’s recipes I found this one for spiced apple muffins and thought it sounded delicious.  Plus, I already have all of the ingredients so it’s definitely a go for me!

One thing about these muffins, they are not sweet.  This may be why I love them so much and just ate three right out of the oven.  I need to stop while I’m ahead and make sure we leave some to take to Rowan’s teacher tomorrow!

Note: It calls for melted shortening.  I used actual shortening because I’m out of butter.  I think it would taste a bit better with butter or margarine though.  In my opinion, delicious with shortening – probably more delicious with butter!

2 c. flour

3/4 c. finely chopped apple

1/3 c. sugar

4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 c. milk

1/4 c. melted shortening

1 egg, beaten

Combine flour, apple, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, & nutmeg and make a well in the center of the mixture.  Combine milk, shortening, & egg and add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.  Spoon batter into greased muffin tins (or use paper liners), filling 2/3 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

yield: about 12 to 15 muffins

Sunbutter Fudge [a variation of Mema’s Peanut Butter Fudge recipe]

Sunbutter Fudge

[this recipe came from Mema’s cousin, Carilyn]

I had to try this!  Jonas loves peanut butter but there’s one thing Jonas loves even more – Sunbutter.  His preschool is a tree-nut free school so he has developed a deep love of Sunbutter sandwiches!  So when I was going to try Mema’s Peanut Butter Fudge recipe I thought, why not try Sunbutter instead and I’m really glad I did – delicious!  And a wonderful treat for those with peanut allergies.  Also, very easy and quick to make!  I think I’m going to make some for Jonas’ teacher for a teacher appreciation gift this week.

1 lb. extra fine confectioner’s sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. Sunbutter (or peanut butter)

4 T. butter

4 T. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Place all ingredients except vanilla in top of double broiler in which the water is boiling.  Beat until smooth.  Add vanilla and beat again.  Quickly pour mixture into 7×9 inch buttered baking dish.  When candy cools, cut in squares.  Refrigerate and remove from pan when cold.

Creamy Pralines

creamy pralines

I admit I have never tried making any kind of candy before so I had to do some ‘research’ before starting these.  For instance, I had no idea how to caramelize sugar.  I found this to be rather helpful: How to Caramelize Sugar.  Also, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when the candy was done and ready to be removed from heat.  I kept dropping small blobs in a glass of cold water and took a guess at when it was done.  But when all was said and done, I ended up with some delicious creamy pralines so I guess all is well!

Note: I did not use pecan halves – $14/bag seemed mighty expensive for trying a recipe that may not have worked out.  So I bought a bag of pecan pieces for $5.

2 c. cane sugar

1 c. evaporated milk

2 c. pecan halves

1/2 c. cane sugar (to caramelize)

1 T. butter

1/2 tsp. vanilla

pinch of salt

Caramelize1/2 c. sugar.  Mix together 2 c. sugar and evaporated milk.  Add to caramelized sugar.  Add pecans.  Stir constantly until mixture forms a firm ball when dropped in cold water.  Remove from heat and add butter, vanilla, & salt.  Beat until creamy.  Drop by tablespoonful onto waxed paper.  Beating is essential in keeping candy from becoming grainy.