Last December, I was corresponding about Christmas cookies with Dolly Kuzyk, and she mentioned that for holiday occasions she always brings sugar cookies and scuffles. I had to ask what scuffles were. Dolly not only explained, she sent me her mom's recipe for these tasty little cinnamon twists.
And Recipe Swap has been on a bit of a muffin kick lately. In response to Linda Perrin's inquiry about the muffins sold at the Reh-Fit Centre's cafe, Marcy Mazur sent in a recipe for double apple bran muffins. These aren't the muffins served at the Reh-Fit, but Marcy did find the recipe in the centre's newsletter, and they are very healthy. Containing no eggs and very little fat, they get fibre from wheat bran and omega-3s from flaxseed, and the sweetening comes mostly from applesauce. Her family loves their moist, dark taste.
This week, Marlene Perrin would love to know if anyone has cracked the secret to the house salad served at Stella's, especially the delicious dressing. And Joanne Marchand is looking for a basic cake recipe that uses honey rather than sugar.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Double Apple Bran Muffins
250 ml (1 cup) all-purpose flour
250 ml (1 cup) whole wheat flour
175 ml (3/4 cup) wheat bran
60 ml (1/4 cup) ground flaxseed
125 ml (1/2 cup) packed brown sugar
10 ml (2 tsp) baking powder
2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda
1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon
1 ml (1/4 tsp) nutmeg
15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) buttermilk
175 ml (3/4 cup) unsweetened applesauce
60 ml (1/4 cup) molasses
125 ml (1/2 cup) raisins
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, chopped
Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Coat standard muffin pan with cooking spray or use paper liners. In large bowl, stir together flours, bran, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In separate bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, applesauce and molasses; stir in raisins and apple. Add to dry ingredients; stir just until blended. Spoon into prepared pan, filling cups about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or just until tester inserted into centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. Makes about 24. Muffins freeze well.
Tester's notes: These tasty, not-too-sweet muffins have lots of fibre, but the double dose of apples helps keep them moist. Wheat bran and ground flaxseed can go off quite quickly, so unless you use them a lot in your baking, you're best off buying a small quantity at a bulk food store.
1 envelope traditional active dry yeast (11 ml or 8 g or 2 1/4 tsp)
60 ml (1/4 cup) lukewarm water (38 C/ 100 F)
750 ml (3 cups) all-purpose flour
45 ml (3 tbsp) granulated sugar
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
250 ml (1 cup or 228 g) butter, cold
125 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk
2 eggs, beaten
30 ml (2 tbsp) cinnamon
250 ml (1 cup) granulated sugar
Add yeast to water and let stand for about 10 minutes until proofed. (Mixture should foam and expand.) Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt and butter as you would for pastry. (Whisk together dry ingredients and cut in butter with pastry cutter or two knives, or work quickly with fingers, until mixture resembles coarse sand. Do not overwork.)
Add milk, eggs and yeast mixture and stir gently. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute or two until dough is soft and a bit elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turn to coat, cover and place in fridge overnight. The next day, preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Grease cookie sheets. Divide dough into 6 parts and form each part into a disc. Take out 1 portion at a time, keeping the rest in the fridge.
Make cinnamon sugar by combining cinnamon and sugar in small bowl. Sprinkle work surface with some cinnamon sugar and roll out each portion as you would for pie crust until quite thin, about 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Sprinkle more cinnamon sugar over top. Cut each round into 12 triangular wedges as you would a pie. Roll up each triangle, starting at the wide end and tucking the point underneath to get a small crescent shape. Place on prepared pans about 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart and bake for about 15 minutes. Makes 6 dozen.
Tester's notes: These are lovely, with a texture somewhere between a pastry and a yeast dough. With my first batch, I left my dough too thick, probably more like 6 mm (or 1/4 inch). The unbaked crescents looked about right, but then expanded as they baked and sort of unrolled. (Never mind: They still tasted good.) For the second batch, I rolled out the dough much thinner and then rolled each scuffle up more tightly, for a better shape and more layers of cinnamon flavour.