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Bobbing for apple muffins.

October 22, 2010

Halloween has always been synonymous with apples. Bobbing for apples has been a Halloween-party staple since God knows when. And since fall is prime apple-picking season, it’s no surprise lots of fall recipes include apple cider or apples.

Apple bobbing originates from Celtic times when Halloween was called Samhain in some Gaelic languages, when apples were associated with love or fertility. Some say this comes from the Roman goddess Pomona[3] whilst others note that this game is an important part of the Celtic pagan religious festival of Samhain when families would gather together for a communal feast.[4]

The current game is based on a New Year tradition, where whoever bites the apple first in the group will be the first to marry.[5][6] The similar tradition of throwing rice at a wedding evolved from this, except apples were thrown originally.

The popularity of this game is falling, possibly because people may regard it as unsanitary,[7] although there is a variation on the game where the apples are hung on string on a line.[8]

Girls who place the apple they bobbed under their pillows are said to dream of their future lover.[8]

Instead of bobbing for apples this year, how about bobbing for apple muffins? New York is known for it’s apples- there’s a reason why it’s known as “The Big Apple.” New York has some of the best apples, if you don’t believe me, visit the NY Apple Country website. I always buy or pick an assload of apples in the fall, and then I scramble to use them before they go soft. Apple muffins, caramel apples, caramel apple cake, baked apples with sweet ricotta, apple strudel, apple cider donuts, apple cupcakes, etc. Indy loves to eat apples, and so do I, but there’s a never-ending amount in the bowl on my table for some reason. A bottomless pit of apples! I happened upon a recipe for a really easy chunky apple cake and I decided I’d rather have apple muffins. Apple cake is good, but muffins are portable, and are already made for a single serving. So I just prefer muffins (or cupcakes, obviously) to cake. However, if you prefer cake, it’s easy enough to do. Just grease and lightly flour an 8- or 9- inch cake pan and bake it for 45-55 minutes.

The awesome thing about this recipe is that you can use any kind of apples you want. I used Cortland, but you can use Macintosh, Pink Lady, Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Gala or a combination of two different kinds. Most recipes call for a specific kind of apple, because some apples bake better than others. But here, anything goes.


Get this shizz:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup canola or soybean oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped peeled apples (about 2 medium)

Then do this:

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, or grease bottom and sides of an 8- or 9- inch round cake pan with shortening, then lightly flour it.
  3. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until well-blended. Stir in oil, vanilla and egg until mixture is thoroughly moistened.
  4. Stir in apples. Mixture will be very thick and chunky. Spread in cake pan or spoon into muffin tin.
  5. Bake 30-40 minutes for muffins or 45-55 minutes for cake, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from muffin tin or pan to cooling rack.
  7. Best served slightly warm.

It’s so easy to make, it would be a great starter recipe for kids to make. It’s even easy for them to chop up the apples, under adult supervision. There’s no mixer required, no heavy-duty beating, etc. Piece of cake (no pun intended). And it smells amazing while baking. The coarser (or larger) you chop the apples, the bigger the muffins will be due to the chunks. I’d recommend chopping them fairly small, but if you want you can use larger apple chunks. Why not!

I also want to apologize for the varying quality of my pictures lately, and the differences in lighting. I’m experimenting with different settings, etc to see which works best. Just stick with me and pardon the schizo nature of it. I’ll settle on something soon… hopefully. 😀

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