I’ve had a lovely weekend with my Brisbane based sister, sewing and cooking and solving the problems of the family and the world. And as a result, she has taken home a batch of this week’s Muesli Bar Challenge for my 12 year old niece and 7 year old nephew to review this week.
Lumberjack cupcakes are based on in-season apples and get most of their sweetness from dates. They use wholemeal flour and they’re fairly low fat, so they pass the Witches Kitchen criteria for ethical and healthy. The recipe is quick and easy and forgiving, so busy parents or kids themselves can make them, and they pass the lunch box test of surviving a one-way trip to school well, and never needing to survive a two-way trip!
Put 250 grams of dates in a pot with 2/3 of a cup of water and bring to the boil. Whizz with a stick blender (or in a food processor) for just a minute to break up the dates but not totally puree them.
Peel and finely dice two large granny smith apples, and add to the dates in the pot, along with another 2/3 cup of water and 1 ½ teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda. Cook, stirring for just a few minutes to soften the apples. Let the mix cool a little while you make the batter.
Cream together 2 desertspoons of butter and 2 desertspoons of brown sugar with a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Beat in 2 eggs.
Mix in 1 ½ cups of plain wholemeal flour and half a teaspoon of baking powder, then fold in the apple and date mix.
Spoon the batter into patty cake papers, filling them quite full – they rise but not by a huge amount. Bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes until they are nearly done.
Meanwhile, melt together 2 desertspoons of butter, 2 desertspoons of brown sugar, 2 desertspoons of milk, and 5 desertspoons of dessicated coconut.
Spread a teaspoon full of topping on each patty cake and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, by which time they should be cooked so they bounce back when pressed, a skewer comes out clean, and the coconut on top is just starting to turn toasty.
Makes about 20 cupcakes