I’ve given you dinner muffins and midnight muffins, I would classify these as afternoon muffins.  I imagine them going perfectly with a cup of lightly spiced chai.  However, not a one ours was consumed during what I consider the “tea time” hours between 2-4pm.  The batch of six came out of the oven right before dinner, and by lunch time the next day, Tim and I had eaten all of them.  Given that statement, and the fact that this is the third muffin post on this blog, one might reasonably consider that we eat a lot of muffins around here, but its not true.  Perhaps its the rapid muffin consumption that ensues after a batch comes out of the oven that scares me off, especially when most recipes make a full dozen cupcake sized quick breads.  Or is it the thought of washing out each of those little cups?  In any case, less than 24 hours after the first taste of these, we are fresh out and I have plans to whip up another batch.   They are THAT GOOD.  They are moist, fluffy and sweet, with an ingredient list that won’t scare you off.  Even if you double it.

I was inspired by a recipe in a baby food book, of all places.  The author is English, and I was worried these would be too bland without the addition of spice.  I tried it first without, and found them to be plenty flavorful.  You might want to try them with a touch of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, etc., but they are delicious as written.  You can also adapt the dried fruits to what you have laying around, but I would stick to the sweet ones (raisins, dates, figs, apricots, prunes) and avoid the sour (cranberries, cherries, blueberries), especially if you adjust the spice.

Afternoon Muffins (adapted from The Healthy Baby Meal Planner)

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp raisins
  • 3 dried apricots
  • 3 dried dates
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (325F convection), coat the cups of a half dozen muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Grind almonds to a powder, being careful not to make almond butter.  I used the blender with pulses and got there in about 30 seconds.
  3. Whisk to combine ground almonds, flour, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  4. If you still have your blender out, briefly wizz together the yogurt, oil, egg and vanilla.
  5. Add the wets to the dries and stir to combine. Do not over mix.
  6. Chop the fruits to similar sized pieces.  I went for half a raisin size.  Toss them with a bit of flour to separate and fold into the batter.
  7. Fill up the cups to the brim – these make big muffins.  Bake 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. (The second batch, pictured, overcooked a bit – get them out on time for maximum moisture)
  8. Cool 10 minutes in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a rack.  If you started these after lunch, there just might be one or two left for tea time with a quiet cup of tea (tea time = nap time around here!).
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