’Tis the season for fruitcake, although I’m not a big fan. The jewel-toned rum-soaked fruit frightens me. But in the spirit of dried fruit studded bread, I went searching for an alternative. Thus, I give you my homage to holiday fruitcake, in muffin form.
I found a recipe for a bread that contained both dried and fresh fruit with the idea that the fresh fruit would lighten it. I then changed it up so the fresh to dried ratio was higher. For altitude I added a bit of flour and reduced the leaveners. For dryness at altitude I added more milk. Then, to combat the possibility of collapse, I made them into muffins.
Holiday Fruited Muffins loosely adapted from Peaceful Dumpling
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup + 1 TBS all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 TBS sucanat
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 small apple, cored and cut into small chunks
4 Medjool dates, pitted and cut into small pieces
1/3 cup dried blueberries
1 cup + 2 TBS non-dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Heat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with paper liners that have been lightly sprayed with oil. In a bowl, mix together milk and vinegar and let sit. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sucanat, and spices. Add apple, dates, and blueberries. Add sour milk to flour bowl and quickly combine. When just combined, transfer to muffin tin. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 1 dozen.
The cookie monster reared its head, so I searched through my recipes for something new. I saw sugar cookies and ginger cookies and nut cookies, but knew the cookie had to have chocolate. And then my brain morphed a few ideas together and decided on chocolate mint.
The only consideration I had to take for high altitude was to add extra liquid for the dry atmosphere. I borrowed a bit from this recipe and then that, but I used vegan ones from the start so I didn’t have to make changes. After it all came together the scent of the dough reminded me of mint fudge. My kitchen smells like Christmas in July.
Cocoa Peppermint Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
8 TBS vegan margarine
1 cup organic sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 TBS non-dairy chocolate milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, salt, and cocoa powder. In a stand mixer, beat margarine until smooth. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add extracts and chocolate milk and beat until fluffy. Slowly add flour mixture to margarine mixture. Beat until well combined. Place cookies 2” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes then move parchment paper with cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 4 dozen one-bite cookies.