how do you like them apples?

Did you know that this week is National Baking Week? Well, if you didn'tyou do now! And to celebrate, Mixie and I are teaming up to bake delicious treats in honor of all things homemade and sugary.
On Tuesday evening I tried a new recipe that came recommended from my sister-in-law. She found a recipe for apple pumpkin muffins on a blog called Iowa Girl Eats (Kristin is the same blogger who created my favorite green smoothie recipe. She's amazing!) and in a last-ditch effort to use my remaining can of pumpkin puree, I decided to make them, too.

But this didn't come without protest. When I told Clayton I was making pumpkin apple muffins, his immediately reaction was, and I quote, "If I have to eat anymore pumpkin-flavored anything, I'm going to stab someone." And considering that I'm the baker in the house, the person he'd stab would probably be me.

I agree with Clayton, though. I've officially hit my pumpkin max for the season. Pumpkin spice is all fun and games until you've eaten nothing but pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin cakes for 2 months. By this point, just seeing anything orange makes me want to vomit.

But I wanted to get rid of my last can of pumpkin puree, so I figured masking the taste of pumpkin with the crisp tartness of Granny Smith apples sounded like as good of an idea as any.

So how yummy are pumpkin apple muffins?

The answer: not very.

I followed the recipe to a T, but they came out of the oven with a texture that could only be described as "chewy". According to the recipe, I was required to fill the muffin papers 3/4 of the way full, but something got lost in translation because despite filling my muffin papers 3/4 of the way with batter, the finished product didn't rise and puff up nicely above the tin pan. The muffins just sat there, unmoving. 

After finishing these tasteless little balls of apple chunks, pumpkin and sadness, I text Molly to let her know how I liked the recipe.

"These turned out terrible," I said. "They taste like wet cardboard and are sticking to the muffin papers."

She text me back with something along the lines of, "Yeah, I was just eating one today and thought, 'These really aren't very good.' Probably should have told you that before you made them!"

Mmm! Tastes like nothing!
So glad to hear it wasn't just me. (I tend to let baking failures cause me to question my entire existence.)

Even the cinnamon cream cheese slather didn't fare too well for Mixie and I. I was about 1/2 short of confectioner's sugar, so the spread came out painfully runny and even after putting what was far more than a generous "pinch" of cinnamon, I couldn't taste anything but cream cheese.

I felt really bad because I raved to Clayton that these muffins would be our breakfast for the week and insisted he not buy any cereal. The muffins look so gross, I'm 99% sure he didn't even bother to grab one on his way to work ... he'd rather starve. Not wanting to give up that easily, I sat down at my desk Wednesday morning and tried to peel the paper lining off of one of the muffins.

I'm pretty sure I ate most of the paper lining.

Then I received a text message from Molly later that night that said, "I'm pretty sure my muffins are leaking water."

Needless to say, the muffins went in the trash and I bought bananas to whip up a quick batch of my ever-reliable banana vegan muffins tonight.

Mixie and I only have a few more days to redeem ourselves and salvage what's left of National Baking Week. We're meeting my mom and sister on Saturday to celebrate hers and my birthdays as a family, and my mom requested I bring another banana cake like the one I made for Mother's Day. I baked that cake like a boss last May, so I have high hopes that Mixie and I will make our comeback (and it will be a successful comeback, not a "Britney Spears at the 2007 VMAs" kind of a comeback.)