Back-to-school season causes me to crave applesauce muffins. Something comforting about the spices and raisins suggests autumn is coming even though temperatures are still hitting the 80s in humid Houston. I loved when Mom made these applesauce cupcakes (I call them muffins now), and I won with this recipe in the Marion Star cooking contest when I was in 8th grade. I remember Mom helping me decide if I should enter the children’s category or the baking category, and I chose to enter the baking category, so some adults were not thrilled when a middle-school kid took the honor. I also remember one of my best friends coming to the mall for the event to cheer me on and my teachers making a big deal of my accomplishment at school the next day. This is my family’s recipe:
Cream together: 1/2 cup softened butter + 1 cup sugar.
Mix in: 1 egg.
Sift together: 2 cups unbleached flour + 2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp baking soda + 1+1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + 1 tsp ground nutmeg + 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
Measure into glass measuring cup: 1 cup unsweetened applesauce.
Alternately add and mix flour mixture and applesauce into creamed mixture, beginning and finishing with dry mixture.
Measure into glass measuring cup: 1 cup dried raisins (I’ve been favoring golden raisins). Pour boiling water over raisins and let fruit soak to plump. Strain plumped raisins and fold into muffin batter.
Scoop muffin batter into cupcake tin lined with cupcake papers. (Pampered Chef large scoop or an ice cream scoop is a perfect size for portioning muffin batter.) Bake @ 375* 20-25 minutes, until muffins are lightly browned on top and the toothpick test comes out clean.
Remove individual muffins to wire rack to cool.
Serve with love! Applesauce muffins are a wonderful treat because they can pass for a healthy breakfast-on-the-go or lunchbox or after-school snack. I’ve also packaged warm muffins in a cutesy basket to share at a ladies’ gathering or the office. I wish I’d taken a picture, but I baked in the morning and was rushing out the door…
…Ahh, but Mom had the brilliant idea to dig up the press photo from 1979. So, to prove I really did win the Marion Star cooking contest (and to demonstrate I am not vain by my willingness to post this tragic middle-school picture on the forever web), here I am so extremely excited to display my award-winning applesauce cupcakes. I do not remember if I thought I was having a good hair day.