I really enjoy cooking, especially baking, but I am also grateful for a chance to “lay down my ladle” so to speak and let someone else do the cooking. I am blessed with a lot of great cooks in the family, my husband being one of them. On most weekends and even on occasional weeknights he will take over the kitchen and whip up a delicious dinner.
I am also grateful for leftovers. Now I know my efforts ultimately made the meal, but an over-abundance at one dinner typically means two for the time and work of one, especially if the man is out of town. But it could also mean that one delectable dish leads to the creation of another.
An example of this occurs when I make a crockpot full of homemade applesauce, which I wrote about on 2 October 2017. Mostly I freeze the contents for serving later in the year, reserving a few cups worth to share immediately. Sometimes, however, the reserves linger in the refrigerator uneaten, leaving just enough to make these tiny bites of “appley” heaven–Applesauce Mini Muffins.
A recipe I discovered on Cooks.com in 2010, it has been a family favorite ever since. Of course, as is my want, I have modified the original recipe to my own liking. The main differences: I add pecans, because frankly I think they make every Fall bread better; I never use store-bought applesauce, because I hardly ever buy it anymore, preferring that which I make at home; and I leave off the cinnamon sugar sprinkle on top, because it makes them too sweet. Here’s how I do it.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
4 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 medium-sized egg, beaten
1 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine the first four ingredients and then set aside. (I use a 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, but you could use more if you prefer a spicier muffin.)
In a medium bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar. Then in a separate bowl beat the egg and add the applesauce and vanilla extract. When this mixture is thoroughly combined, stir it into the butter mixture and then add it to the flour.
When all the ingredients have been well-combined, stir in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.
Spoon the batter into a well-greased miniature muffin pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
Yields 2 dozen.
For the abundance, for the leftovers, for the dishes that lead to new dishes I am thankful.