Thursday, June 16, 2011

State Study: New York State Apple Muffins

This spring I stumbled upon a homeschool state study unit on  It is a 25-week study of the 50 United States.  If you sign up, each lesson is emailed to you with worksheets, links, recipes and supplemental study information.

One of our children has a knack for geography.  He memorized all the states on his own and was looking to learn more.  He began his memorization at GeoSpy and was able to quickly identify the locations and names of all the states.

These are a couple of his favorite books.  He shares all sorts of important information with us from these books.

When homeschooling, if one of your kids has in interest in with it!  When doing a unit study on something they love, kids will accomplish reading, history, geography, science, hone their computer skills, improve vocabulary, writing, English, and grammar.  In addition, you can find supplemental activities to further their learning experience.  Some examples would be baking, field trips, educational videos, art projects, etc.

With all homeschooling material I come across, I evaluate what will work for our family and add additional activities or glean applicable resources.  The study provides worksheets including word searches, crossword puzzles, vocabulary, coloring pages, writing forms, information about state symbols and fun activities unique to each state.  Some homeschoolers are anti-worksheet.  In that case, you can do the questions and research as a group/family.  One idea would be to take the worksheet with names, historical information, and locations to the library and have your kids find books on the topic.  Because our kids have limited computer time, they love to look up (Google search) the questions and find the answers.  (Note: when they are on the computer, I am present.  We talk a lot about computer safety).  Also, I grew up doing word searches with my grandma.  I love them!  I think a lot of kids like them too.  It's good brain exercise. recommends completing two states per week.  We are flexible.  If it takes us a week to complete one state, it's not the end of the world.  Enjoy your time together with your kids and make learning fun, not stressful.  They'll have enough deadlines and stress when they're grown.  Enjoy this time!

We're finishing up New York this week.  We learned the "official" muffin of New York State is the Apple Muffin.  It's a June Gloom kind of day here, so it's a perfect day for baking Apple Muffins.

The Official New York State Apple Muffin

Makes 24 muffins


1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon peel (lemon zest or grated lemon peel)
2 tablespoons melted butter

Place above ingredients in a bowl, stir.  Set aside.

This is a great recipe for three kids!  Each one had something to work on: topping, dry ingredients, wet ingredients.

Topping.  See the lemon zest? 


This is a lemon zester.  I didn't know I was missing anything in life until I got one.  It's great!

It is very easy to use.  Much better than grating my fingers!


Dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.

Dry ingredients

Wet ingredients:

2 cups apples, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix apples and next 6 ingredients in large bowl.  Gradually add dry ingredients to apple mixture.  Stir until just combined.  Do no over mix.  Line muffin tin with liners.  Portion the batter into the muffin tin.  Sprinkle topping on each.

These are great apples.  It was hard for the kids not to eat them before they made it into the muffins.
We chopped in the Cuisinart, but you could do by had or with other chopper.

Wet ingredients

Adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients

Look at these cute muffin cups

Topping is sprinkled on top of each muffin.

Ready for the oven
 Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Fresh out of the oven.  Let cool a bit before taking them out of the tin.

A great cloudy day afternoon treat.  Enjoy!

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