Everyone handles stress in their own way. Something I learned during the hurricane is that being in the kitchen is a major stress reliever for me. I never usually panic about a storm but Sandy felt different. I think part of me is still mildly traumatized from the derecho in June that came out of nowhere and made life hell for a week. We were so unprepared for that. After listening to our Governor hold a press conference on Monday stating that “PEOPLE WILL DIE IN THIS STORM” and to weather people saying that this was THE PERFECT STORM… I just kind of freaked out. I’ve never been a weather alarmist. I usually make jokes about people running to the grocery store for toilet paper before a big weather event but yesterday I was totally one of those people. I went to the store and got a ton of canned goods, filled up at the gas station, scrubbed down the entire kitchen, pulled out all of our flashlights and lanterns… just in case of what? I don’t know but this time I was determined to be prepared for anything. I spent all weekend and yesterday preparing and waiting and my anxiety was through the roof.
The rest of the day I was either glued to the television or baking. I made granola bars, hummus, spicy pumpkin seeds and apple muffins. Each time I felt like I was tempting fate as our powered flickered and threatened to vanish. But being in the kitchen was so calming to me, especially as I watched my beloved Ocean City go under water and listened to winds outside that sounded like a freight train about to run over our little townhouse. I frantically tweeted with others along the East Coast. I stared at the giant tree in our backyard, willing it to stay upright (it did). I wasn’t planning to get any blog recipes out of the experience but the muffins were some of the best I’ve ever made. They were delicate, fluffy and rich. I had leftover brown butter which made them incredibly tasty. They were comfort food. I needed comfort.
We never lost our power or dealt with any kind of damage. I feel incredibly lucky we were spared. My thoughts are with everyone who was impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 large sweet apple, finely diced
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup milk, regular or non-dairy (I used almond milk)
- ⅓ cup melted brown butter
- brown sugar for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups or grease the pan with baking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the chopped apple.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, milk and brown butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Don't overwork the batter, some lumps are fine.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on top of each muffin.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the tops are starting to brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Enjoy warm or at room temperature.