These muffins are chock-full of goodness: whole grains, hazelnuts, cherries, apples, and zucchini, plus a little booze to make everything even better. Assembling the muffins requires more steps than my usual recipes, but the taste makes it worth it—or so my non-vegan taste testers told me between bitefuls.
- measuring cups and spoons
- 2 mixing bowls
- cookie sheet
- muffin tin with 12 2 ½-inch cups
- cooling rack
- small saucepan
- 1½ cup rolled oats (quick or instant)
- ⅓ cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1¼ cup whole-wheat flour (use white whole-wheat flour if available)
- ¼ coconut flour (you can use wheat or other flour if you don’t have coconut flour, but use¼ cup water instead of the ⅓ listed below)
- 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 3 tablespoons sugar or equivalent non-sugar sweetener such as xylitol
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (such as coconut or canola)
- 1½ teaspoons lemon extract
- ½ cup black cherry liqueur, cherry schnapps, or cherry brandy
- ½ cup dried fruit, preferably something tart like cranberries, red plums or sour cherries
- Toss the oats and hazelnuts and spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Toast in a 400°F oven until slightly golden (about 12 minutes), stirring once or twice. Let cool.
- Heat the cherry liqueur in a small saucepan. Add the dried fruit and simmer for two minutes, then let rest until cool and most of the alcohol is absorbed.
- Set aside a quarter cup of the oat and nut mixture. Put the rest in a mixing bowl with the flours, baking soda and cardamom. Mix together.
- Mix the applesauce, zucchini, water, oil, sweetener, lemon extract, and flax together in a separate bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry ingredients are wet. Batter should be somewhat lumpy.
- Stir in dried fruit.
- Spoon batter into lined or greased muffin tin. Fill each cup about three-quarters full.
- Sprinkle the tops with the oat and hazelnut mixture that you set aside earlier.
- Bake at 400°F for 17 minutes, or until the tops are firm and golden brown.
- Cool on racks before eating.