Thursday 28 March 2013

Apricot Cream Cheese Muffins for Dad

The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half. ~ Feodor Dostoevski

We are all of us creatures of habit.

I've only recently noticed just how many habits I've collected along the way: how I have coffee in the morning before the cereal, how I always sit on the right-hand side of the bus,  how I check the same websites every morning.

My Dad was no exception.  In fact he could've been the poster boy for habitual living.  We used to go out for lunch as a family every weekend.  For years it was BB's Cafe in Wairau Park.  And every single weekend he would order exactly the same things: a cappuccino in a bowl with chocolate, a ham and cheese croissant (heated) and an Apricot and Cream Cheese Muffin.

We were such regulars, I even ended up working at the place.  And Dad would still come in, every Sunday, for his coffee, croissant, and muffin. 

It's eight years today since he passed away.  And I can still see him sitting there just like it was yesterday, with the paper in one hand and a muffin in the other.  So today, I broke my morning habit to bake Dad's favourite muffins and remember all his quirky habits with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.

Apricot and Cream Cheese Muffins for my Dad.  I love you.  I miss you so much.  

I never got to be privvy to the BBs muffin recipe which made incredibly soft tender moist muffins that my Dad loved.  I've searched high and low for a similar muffin recipe and this is the best one I've found so far based on this blueberry muffin recipe.  My oven ran a bit hot for this batch so the tops were a bit crunchy but the bottoms were still lovely and tender.

Apricot & Cream Cheese Muffins

Makes 10 muffins

1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
100mL milk (1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon), room temperature
1/3 cup oil (flavourless like canola)
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 can of apricot halves, drained
~ 100g cream cheese
icing sugar to decorate

1. Preheat your oven to 200oC.  Place 10 cupcake liners in a 12 cup muffin tray.

2.  Reserve 3 apricot halves to slice up for decoration.  Dice the rest of the apricots and set aside.  Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix. Make a well in the centre.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, egg and vanilla.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the well in the dry ingredients and fold gently a few times to just in corporate. The mixture will seem quite dry. Add the diced apricots and fold in quickly and gently until only just mixed.  A light hand here is best...the more you mix the tougher and denser your muffins will be!

4.  Divide the mixture into the baking cups ~ about 3/4 full.  Scoop 1/2 teaspoons of cream cheese and push into the middle of each muffin, making sure the cream cheese is covered by muffin mixture.  Place a slice of apricot on top

5. Bake at 200oC for 18-20 minutes.  Immediately take muffins out of the tray and onto a wire rack for cooling. Sprinkle with icing sugar when cooled.  Best eaten on the day of baking.  You can reheat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds on high (one muffin at a time).


  1. xxx Nessie
    You did too, every day sit (sleep) on the right side of the 945 bus!

  2. Yum these look simple and delicious. What a lovely tribute. :)

  3. Beautiful post. Gorgeous muffins.

  4. these look fantastic - i have some apricot pieces frozen away somewhere that would work well.
    it is beautiful when food reminds us of people.
    and as a solid creature of habit, i think there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! though i do try to shake it up every now and then ... and end up creating new habits!

  5. I love your blog, you have some wonderful recipes on here. Thanks for sharing.

  6. These sound wonderful and what a lovely tribute. I came to NZ three years ago to stay with my sister. We went on an organised trip to see where part of Lord of the Rings was filmed. We stopped halfway at a café for coffee and these amazing apricot and cream cheese muffins. I asked for the recipe and my request was rejected. Something I do not understand as I think it is good to share, just like you. These sound very similar to the ones I ate in the café so will give it a go. Thank you very much. Jan



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