Monday, October 11, 2010

Midnight (okay, 9pm) Snacks

During the day there are times, say around 5:30, when I could really go for a snack. But since the "sneak a quick little snack without the boys noticing" phase has long been gone in our home, I usually forgo any snacks except the ones the boys are already having during their snack time. If I do try and sneak a snack it usually goes something like this:

Me, opening something: "crinkle, crinkle, crinkle"

R and/or G: "Mom, what are you eating?"

(under my breath grumble)

At this point I can go one of two directions: I can take the responsible route and walk-away-from-the-snack. Or, I can share my snack with the boys, who have little to no will power with snacking right before dinner (they are, after all, hungry, and have a bona fide snacking gene) and then end up frustrated because they don't eat a good dinner.

So I like a good snack when they are asleep in bed and I can relish a snack moment in peace. These muffins are my latest sweet treat. I love a good, tasty, but healthful muffin, and these fit the bill perfectly.

Orange Cranberry Muffins

2 cups hot water
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or alternatively, use only all-purpose)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
4 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups buttermilk*
zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the hot water and dried cranberries. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and ginger in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs and add the applesauce, oil, buttermilk and orange zest.

*(I almost never buy buttermilk, but make it at home. Pour one tablespoon white vinegar into a cup container. Fill the rest of the cup with milk. Let sit 5 minutes. Voila! Buttermilk! For this recipe you will need two cups.)

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Drain the water from the cranberries and add the cranberries to the muffin mixture. Stir to incorporate.

Pour into muffin tins with liners. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Makes 36 muffins.

36 too many muffins for you? Halve the recipe, freeze some for later, or do what we did and wrap up a bunch and share them with others...R's and G's teachers, even R's bus driver got a surprise last week.

Have a sweet week,


Laura said...

I make a muffin very similar to these and Liam can't get enough! He picks out the cranberries and eats them first. :D And I feel better about giving him something from the oven instead of the marketed "kids snacks". Even with it being a baked good, my homemade snacks have lower sugar in them than what's on the shelves.

I'm working my way through your snack ideas, too! Those afternoon munchies hit our house like a plague and I get tired of the same old, same old... so thanks for all the ideas.

Oh and, I too have to hide my snacking. I was really sad the day that happened for the first time.

Sweet Pea Chef said...

How's your pregnancy going, Fearless?

JerseyBaby said...

That "crinkle crinkle" gives me away too! Fortunately the kids are thrilled to have apples (which we have out of our ears now) and carrots and dip these days.

On the muffin topic, I made and froze a bunch of zucchini (with applesauce) and chocolate chip muffins this summer, and they are still hits with the kids.

Vicki J. said...

I am going to try these using a gluten free mix with xynthum gum. I'm not a baker, so wish me luck. :) My little guy has been requesting muffins since going GF a few months ago.

vicki j. said...

Um, how bout spell check... that would be xanthan gum duh!