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Posts Tagged ‘gourmet’

Recently, I’ve had the baking bug. I attribute it to our staying in town on the weekends. We went through a four-week stint where we traveled every weekend. All of that traveling made my weeks crazy trying to cram everything in and prepare for the next weekend’s travel. I have loved being home on the weekends and back in the kitchen. Over the last couple weeks I’ve baked pumpkin chocolate chip bars, homemade crackers, peanut butter chocolate chip bars, pita bread (twice!) and these muffins.

The inspiration from these muffins came from a can of Libby’s pumpkin puree in my pantry that was calling my name. I came home one night and it was rainy and cool. I immediately headed to the kitchen and started paging through my favorite cookbooks for pumpkin muffin recipes. I found a Pumpkin Apple Bread recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook and decided to adapt it to be a bit healthier and muffin form.

The modifications I made included halving the recipe, subbing some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat, reducing the sugar, cutting back on some of the oil in favor of applesauce and omitting the streusel-like topping in favor of a small sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon. The muffins turned out great, even with the modifications! Usually Brandon can immediately tell when I’ve “healthified” things but he was totally on board with these and ate them every morning for breakfast.

I think my favorite thing about these muffins is the addition of  diced apple. How perfect is it that this recipe includes two of the best Fall baking ingredients!? These are a great change from my normal banana muffins and I will be baking them again this season!

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Apple Muffins
(Recipe heavily adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Very small pinch of cloves (1/8 teaspoon)
1/2 (of a 15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
Extra brown sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle over the muffins before baking

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with liners (or cooking spray).

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In a separate medium bowl, mix together pumpkin, oil, applesauce, sugar and eggs. Add wet mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in apples.

Divide batter between muffin tins, filling about 3/4 (or a tad more) full. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the tops of muffins. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Muffins will keep for 3-5 days out or freeze well for a couple of months.

Yield: 12 muffins

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I realize that it has been a week since my last post. I didn’t forget about the blog, I wasn’t too busy to post, I wasn’t lacking inspiration. Instead, I have been planning 68 Days of Gourmet for 68 Years.

On October 5 Conde Nast announced that it was closing Gourmet magazine, citing declining ad revenues and a shift in American food interests as the main reasons for the closure. I was completely stunned by this news. Trust me, I realize that the print industry is struggling and that declining ad revenues have forced the closure of many titles but I was so sad to see it hit Gourmet. It was the food magazine that started it all back in 1941. Gourmet was around far before the Cooking Light- and Rachel Ray-type publications that are so popular today. Gourmet pushed envelopes, addressed very political food issues and most importantly wasn’t scared to stay true to its roots and to its food. It didn’t buy into the whole “low-fat, low-calorie everything craze” – it maintained a balance of indulgence and practicality. It didn’t resort to crazy shortcuts and “semi-homemade” recipes but instead encouraged readers to embrace simple but elegant and flavorful weeknight meals.

1941gourmetcover

the first issue, january 1941 (photo from serious eats by adam kuban)

The closure came suddenly and staffers were caught by surprise. A few weeks after the announcement I was listening to NPR’s Fresh Air and they were interviewing Ruth Reichl, Gourmet editor-in-chief. Reichl said had she known November 2009 was going to be the last issue she would have done things so differently. It’s sad to me that the magazine wasn’t able to receive a proper goodbye from its staff who put so much time and love into it.

Gourmet has provided me with so much inspiration over the years and has really challenged me as a cook to try new recipes, techniques, cuisines and ingredients. I couldn’t just let this closure go without sharing Gourmet with my readers and giving it a proper goodbye on my blog. For the next 68 days I will be blogging about Gourmet magazine recipes in honor of the 68 years that the magazine was in publication. I have planned a mix of old and new and all types of food.

the last issue, november 2009

the last issue, november 2009

And you better believe that this won’t be the end of Gourmet for me. I will still turn to Gourmet as one of my top recipe sources in the future. After all, there’s 68 year’s worth of recipes to try!

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