Product: Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Hodgson Mill brand muffin recipe from a box. Finished product looks close to the picture on the box.

[This was the post I thought I was going to start with, before my rant about cinnabon cinnamon rolls...and yes, I am feeling much better and have recovered from my lapse in rational thinking. Composure regained.]

so – I was craving muffins.  or, I had been craving muffins — for quite a while.  craving them for days actually.  having just moved to a town where they do allow Walmart Mega/super – store/market/groceries, I thought I would check out their little “gluten free” section.  the selection actually was not bad (better than Albertson’s but not as good as Sprouts).  I grabbed this box of apple cinnamon muffin mix (I am a cinnamon freak if you haven’t guessed by now), and off I went to see if muffins in a cardboard box could satisfy my craving and provide some type of breakfast on the run during my 5:45am commute.

Recipe straightforward; ingredients simple (so thankful I don’t have a dairy allergy or else I would just become a fruitarian and forget food altogether).  I actually picked up these muffin tins that bake a half-dozen so I could fit them in my toaster oven, remember as a consumer and new mom, I need convenience.  faster is better in my life right now.

So I mixed it all together in less than 3 minutes (added oil, one egg, sugar and half cup of milk).  *side note: I normally drink/use almond milk, and love it.  but for the sake of trying recipes for the first time, I will stick with the directions.  next time I’ll swap out that unhealthy vegetable oil for canola and dairy for almond milk and then write the review again…

back to the topic: I opted for the little paper muffin liners just because I hate cleaning bakeware (again, time saving measures are my priority).  the box said yield would be about 7-8 muffins.  I don’t like huge muffins, and neither does my wasteline, so my yield was 10 smaller muffins.

they baked up in 14 minutes just like the box said.  toothpick came out clean.  I slathered one in butter (and by now you can tell I like butter – and I believe my mantra that “fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar makes you fat”) and took the first bite…

not bad? actually kind of good?  hmmm.  I like these.  the next morning I had one after I got to work at an ungawdly hour in the AM and it tasted good room temperature and plain (meaning no slathered butter).

Ratings: (haven’t quite thought out a rating system.  I’ll have to work on it, but for now…)

Convenience: yes

Taste: pretty ok

Affordability: sure, it’s Walmart ($2.92 before tax for the box)

Make these again: definitely

*Disclaimer — if you are new to the world of gluten free, especially when it comes to things baked and breaded…the descriptions that indicate “taste good” should be redefined.  It’s not going to be “good” like how regular wheat baked and breaded products taste “good”.  Not even remotely “okay”…but for those of us afflicted as celiacs or gluten allergic, sometimes we just need “good enough”.  And when we say it tastes “great” — then it means it comes pretty damn close to tasting like the real thing.  Hope this makes sense.

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…Since November 2010

yes.  still gluten free.  does that mean that sometimes I don’t imagine myself wanting to stage a full fledged assault on cinnabon — order a box of those super gooey, cinnamon-ey, extra frosting shot slathering-ey pan of wheat gluten filled crazy heaven — and shove my face in it?  breathe it in like I’m on the verge of my last living breath, and then just devour the whole sinfully sugary sweet ball of icing and dough?  and just for one second forget how I will be running for the bathroom in less than 45 minutes as my body purges itself any way it can from the poison?

yes, sometimes.  sometimes I consider it.  then like a reasonable human being with a very nasty gluten intolerance I reach for my udi’s cinnamon bread.  toast it on high in the toaster oven.  slather it with butter, sprinkle it with more cinnamon and a pinch of sugar.  then I eat it. anti-climatically, I eat it.  and it pales in comparison to my memories of cinnabon…and leaves me very unfulfilled.  and then I move on with my life.

sorry to leave my first entry on such a pessimistic and unnervingly depressing note.  I had thought that I would leave a very upbeat and encouraging post about baking cinnamon apple muffins tonight from a box.  they were okay.  quite okay, actually.  but as I describe that damn cinnamon roll that should be illegal on so many levels, I find myself less enthusiastic about the muffins I have waiting for me for breakfast.

next time.  next time I’ll be happier — for now I’ll just wallow in thoughts of cinnamon and icing…and what my world used to be like, 8 years ago…

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