Jumbo Maple Spiced Apple Crumble Muffins

Boy, that's a mouthful! A delicious one, too. These apple muffins taste like (but better than!) your favorite bakery muffin, but are so much healthier for you - they're packed with whole grains, heart-healthy coconut oil, large chunks of fresh apple, lots of spices and the most amazing crumble topping.
Did I also mention they're jumbo? And who doesn't love a muffin the size of their face?
These muffins are tender and moist, with a just slightly crisp exterior and a luscious crispy, crumbly topping. They are perfect for grabbing on-the-go, with a quick cuppa for breakfast and for a cozy afternoon in.

They're an absolute cinch to throw together and even easier to eat!

FYI, these may or may not be the last recipe I post before another hectic term at university, so I hope you enjoy it. And a sorry in advance for possibly going MIA!
Makes 6 or 8 pretty large muffins!

For the muffins:
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup baby oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup chopped apples, preferably red + organic

For the topping:
1/3 cup baby oats
1/4 light brown sugar
1/6 cup unrefined sugar
1-2 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 170 C. Line a muffin tin with 6 (if you're really going for jumbo!) or 8 (if you just looking for hearty muffins) muffin liners (or lightly brush with coconut oil) and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (excluding sugar): flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat again. Finally, add the yogurt, maple syrup and coconut oil and beat one last time.

Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Mix until just combined. Fold in the apple chunks and stir gently.

Spoon the muffin batter into the prepared muffin tin.

In a small bowl, roughly mix together the ingredients for the topping. Using a spoon (or your fingers!), sprinkle the topping mixture on top of each muffin. Don't be afraid to air on the side of extra topping - you won't regret it! That said, you may not end up using all of the topping mixture, so don't force it.

Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins have risen, are golden brown, the crumble topping is crunchy and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.



Chocolate Chip Walnut Oat Cookies

In case you guys haven't already caught on, my fam(ily), me included, is really into cookies. I mean, what's not to love? Portable, long-lasting, delicious, small, easy to sneak from the cookie jar... what did I miss? I already have a pretty long list of chocolate chip cookies I've made, but really, can you ever have enough? I definitely can't. And so I got thinking - I've done coconut, banana, almond/oat, almond/coconut, and peanut butter (all varieties of chocolate chip cookies!). I've also mentioned, on multiple occasions, that my sister isn't a big fan of nuts, and especially not in baked goods. So why did I go with walnuts? Well, here's the secret: I was actually baking a big batch of cookies to bring with me on my trip to India as a gift for my grandparents. They never stop talking about my baking! My grandpa is a massive walnut person, and toasted walnut chunks in chocolate chip cookies sounded fantastic!
My grandpa doesn't eat things that are overly sweet, so these walnut choc chip cookies were perfect. First off, they aren't too sweet to begin with. Second, the walnuts add a really wonderful, slightly bitter nuttiness (and lots of healthy fats!). And I decided (no surprise here) to use dark chocolate chips to limit the extra sweetness (dark is always the way to go anyway!).

I'm in India now, the weather is amazing, and my grandparents LOVED the cookies. It's always nice to put a smile on someone's face :) Shh... Don't tell them, but I may have snuck a cookie or few for myself as well!

Makes approximately 25 cookies
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup baby oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
7/8 cup unrefined sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp honey
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted 

Preheat the oven to 170 C. Line a cookie tray with baking paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oats.

In a separate medium bowl, beat together the coconut oil and sugar. Whisk in the egg. Add the honey and vanilla and whisk again.

Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined (the dough will be relatively dry and crumbly.

Finally, fold in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

Roll the dough into loose balls, place on the cookie sheet and flatten slightly. 

Bake for 12-17 minutes or until beautifully golden brown and slightly crisp to the touch (they will harden more as they cool). Enjoy!


Chocolate Vanilla Pinwheels

If you've been following me for a while, you'll be used to this. I'm back from term at uni, and what does that mean? All the baking pangs that have been bottled up inside have the chance to bake break free. Sometimes I wonder why I don't bake all that often when I'm actually at university, given my obsession (I think it's the right word?)... then all the reasons come flooding in. To name a few: 1) I enjoy spending at least half an hour cooking a wholesome (or so I like to think) dinner EVERY evening and I just can't seem to justify spending over an hour in the kitchen (as much as I'd love to!), 2) there's SO much to do and SO little time, and 3) I'd eat it all the goodies myself (*insert cheeky monkey emoji here*).

Anyways, I came back to find that we actually had a random assortment of goodies lying around: a bit of marble cake, a few chocolate chip cookies, some Christmas fruit cake, essentially my job had been done and no more baked goods were needed. That, however, didn't mean we couldn't use some more, nor did it mean it would deter me from baking. And so I got thinking... Cookies definitely seemed like the way to go, because they last far longer than muffins, cakes or scones. Also, it's the holiday season, and cookies and festivity just go together, do they not?
My family is chocolate-obsessed and I was definitely feeling the chocolate, but it occurred to me that I've made so many different types of chocolate chip cookies that I needed to try something new. I started scrolling through Foodgawker and came across some pinwheel cookies - the ones I saw actually had dates and walnuts in them, but I knew that traditional pinwheels had a chocolate swirl. And so I set on a mission. To make a slightly healthier version of pinwheel cookies that taste as good, if not better, than the original...

I'll also let you in on a secret... I was SO worried that the swirl wouldn't turn out well at all. But it did!! Just look at the pictures.

These cookies aren't very chocolate-y, but have just a hint of dual flavor with the chocolate and vanilla. To be honest, if you were to close your eyes and take a bite, you may not even realize they're chocolate at all. What they are is good... VERY good!

It's been two days since I made these and they're already over halfway gone. And this recipe made around 30 good-sized cookies... #noshame

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
3 tbsp coconut oil, at room temperature 
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp whole milk
25 g dark chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil

In a cup or small microwaveable bowl, microwave the dark chocolate and 1 tsp coconut oil in bursts of 15 seconds until melted. Stir in between each burst to ensure the chocolate doesn't burn. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the three flours, salt and baking powder.

In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the 3 tbsp coconut oil and sugar. Add in the egg and whisk again. Finally add the honey, vanilla extract and milk and whisk again.

Pour the wet ingredients (not including chocolate mixture) into the dry and stir until just combined. The dough will be thick.

Separate the dough into two. In one half, pour in the cooled chocolate mixture. This dough is likely to be slightly more wet than the vanilla half, so add a tablespoon or two of flour until it is thick again.

Roll out the vanilla half in a large rectangle on a sheet of cling film until it is around 0.5 cm thick. On a separate platform do the same with the chocolate half. Carefully lift the chocolate sheet off its platform and place on the rolled out vanilla dough. Like a jelly roll or cinnamon buns, gently, but tightly roll the cookies into a log. It is best to roll along the long edge so you are left with a long log. If you end up doing it the other way around, the log will be short and extremely large (in diameter!).

Use the cling film that was under the vanilla dough to wrap the log tightly. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or refrigerator for 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven the 180 C.

Take the cookie dough log out of the fridge/freezer and slice the log into discs about 3/4 cm thick. I sliced them slightly at an angle to yield oval-shaped cookies, but round is great too!

Place the sliced cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly crisp and a beautiful golden brown.

Let the cookies cool on a wire rack. Grab a few, a nice hot drink, your favorite book and snuggle up on the couch. It is winter, after all. Enjoy!


Blueberry Coconut Muffins

Last weekend, my parents and I hit up the London cafe scene for a quick brekkie on Sunday morning. I had a thick slice of banana bread toasted to perfection with a healthy slab of salted butter, my dad had a classic butter croissant and my mom had a super rustic blackberry coconut muffin, which was the inspiration for these muffins. Oh and don't worry, coffee was involved too. Iced coffee for me (currently obsessed), a flat white for the mom and two flat whites for dad. We need something to get us going on Sunday mornings, right?

So back to that blackberry coconut muffin. It was a muffin like no other. It barely even resembled a muffin. It didn't come wrapped in a muffin wrapper, it didn't have a straight body nor a high, crispy muffin top. In fact. the base of the muffin was all of two to three centimeters tall, and the muffin top was strangely flat. But boy, oh boy, the muffin knocked our socks off! It was dense, yet light. It felt whole-wheat-y, but not in the "healthy" sense. It was perfect sweet. It had fresh blackberries baked right into the batter. And it had lots of COCONUT. If you haven't noticed yet, I've been on a major coconut kick lately. Coconut everything - oatmeal, muffins, cookies, body lotion, shampoo, body wash, lip balm. EVERYTHING.
Anyways, I was greatly inspired by this great muffin and while mine does not in any way physically resemble the muffin we ate, the flavors most definitely do. I used blueberries instead of blackberries as they are much nicer right now. One thing I did definitely do was stick with the coconut!

I tried baking these in a muffin pan which I "buttered" with some coconut oil instead of using my usual muffins liners, as recently I've found my muffins sticking to the liners (no good).

Makes 6 muffins
2/3 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup desiccated coconut, toasted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 egg
1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
3/4 cup fresh blueberries, tossed in 1 tbsp flour

Preheat the oven to 170 C. Grab a muffin tray and brush 6 of the muffin cups with coconut oil. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the self raising flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate larger bowl, beat together the coconut oil and sugar. Then add the egg, vanilla extract and milk and beat again.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.

Add in the toasted coconut and blueberries and fold gently.

Scoop the batter into prepared muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.