Apple and cheddar muffin

It’s been a bumper year for apples. The trees are drooping with rosy red apples ripe for the picking. We have two different places from which to gather them. When we visit the grandparents, my wee one loves going out into the garden with her Opa to check on the apple tree. When the time is right she’ll help him to pick them and (hopefully) bring some of the bounty home with her.

red appleOn our last visit they were almost but not quite ripe yet. This did not stop her from wanting some (have you tried arguing with a 2 year old?!) one for her, one for mummy and one for daddy…

red applesI didn’t need to be told twice that perhaps they would be better cooked. Hhhmm now what should I bake? Since they were given to me by the littlest member of the family they had to be child friendly. One of her favourite foods is cheese and I know it’s popular to add a slice of cheddar cheese to apple pie so why not an apple and cheddar cheese muffin?

apple cheddar muffinThe sweet apple contrasts beautifully with the savoury salty cheese to make a sweet and savoury muffin. If I made them again I’d take out some of the sugar just to bring out the flavour of the cheese.

The little ones comment “it’s not bad”. My harshest critic indeed!

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Courgette and bacon muffin

Autumn is clearly on it’s way. There may be some days when the sun still shines and it’s warm but the air is definitely cooler and the leaves are changing. I am a big fan of the colder seasons. I much prefer being bundled up in a big cosy jumper than wafting around in a floaty summer dress.

Courgette and bacon muffin with soupThe colder weather also lets me indulge in one of my most favourite meals. There’s nothing else quite like a big bowl of homemade vegetable soup served with a warm-from-the-oven savoury muffin when it’s cold and rainy outside. A friend gave me a big filled with marrows to use which was the starting point for these muffins. I was inspired by one of the soups I make regularly, courgette and cumin. For an added extra crunch and a little bit of extra protein for lunch I topped them with crispy grilled bacon bits but these could easily be left off for a vegetarian friendly version.

Bacon topped muffins

The cumin added some much needed flavour to the marrow but my decision to make these with only wholemeal flour was the downfall of these uber-filling muffins. My two-year old favoured the bacon bits and indeed refused to eat anything other than the bacon (she is definitely my harshest critic!)

With a second not so great attempt at courgette muffins under my belt can anyone suggest a really great recipe for me to try?

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Courgette and seed

Courgette and seed muffin

If you haven’t bought into the Graze craze yet then you should definitely give it a try. Perfect little snacks arrive on your doorstep on a weekly basis. What snacks arrive depends entirely on your own preference. You can enjoy one (or more) carefully calculated nibble to keep you going till lunch or dinner. The choices on the website are love it, like it, try it or bin it. Personally I’ve loved all the honeyed almonds but binned all the olives.

Now I like seeds. Don’t get me wrong. And I definitely like the idea of nibbling my way through these healthy bites. The benefits they bring to body and soul are amazing but it has to be said that I do struggle to open up those little packets. Maybe it’s because they are reminiscent of bird food? I don’t know. I do know that I should “bin” the seed options.Courgette and seed muffins

However, my most recent unopened and sadly ignored packet of Omega Booster Seeds were the perfect finishing touch for these savoury courgette muffins. The cake-y part itself was moist and light but would have been nothing without the flavour of the seeds. The whole thing is just crying out for a little bit of strongly flavoured salty cheese just to lift it up and give it a bit of extra zing.

So next time you get a Graze snack you don’t feel like nibbling on you could always try adding it to a muffin. Which snacks to do you enjoy the most? And which ones would you muffinize?

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9 : Crumble topped cheese and fennel seed

Cheese and Fennel Seed Muffin

Cheese and Fennel Seed Muffin

A savoury muffin is a great accompaniment to some delicious homemade soup. I made these from my new book 1001 Cupcakes, cookies and other tempting Treats. For the basic recipe I used no. 822 crumble topped cheese and chive muffins. I subsituted 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds for the chives (perhaps a little heavy handed, next time I would use just 1) and instead of buttermilk I used milk with a little lemon juice added.

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5 : Blue cheese, pear and walnut

Although I’m not a fan of blue cheese this seems like a good flavour combination and there is one fan in this household. The pear was a bit over ripe which resulted in the muffin being a little soggy and there were a few too many walnuts on the top.

Blue cheese, pear and walnut muffin

Ingredients

  • 300g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 85g butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 100g blue cheese
  • 1 pear, cored and chopped
  • 50g walnuts

Heat the oven to 200C. Chop the cheese, pear and walnuts into small pieces.  Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together. Add the wet to the dry then fold in the cheese and pears. Spoon the mixture into cases, top with chopped walnuts and bake for 16 minutes until golden and firm.

Calories per muffin: 277

4: Goat’s cheese and onion

After having the most amazing goats cheese and caramelised onion pizza this week I knew that this would be a great flavour combination in a muffin. My first attempt was good although perhaps a little dry. They could benefit from more and stickier caramelised onions as well as a touch more goats cheese.

Goat's Cheese and Onion muffin

 Ingredients

  • 100g goat’s cheese
  • 1 onion, cooked with 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 85g butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml milk

Heat the oven to 200C. Chop the onion and place in pan with the oil and sugar. Cook until caramelised. Chop the goat’s cheese into small chunks. Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together. Add the wet to the dry then fold in the onion and cheese. Spoon the mixture into cases and bake for 16 minutes until golden and firm.

Calories per muffin: 225