Some scents inevitably bring me back to certain seasons, certain places or specific moments in the past. They say that smell is a very powerful sense, able to activate memory quicker than the other senses.

I can't call myself a "smell fetishistic", but I can't deny that the scent of a person, the comforting aroma of freshly baked bread or the smell of certain herbs are "odorous sensations" that remain dormant in the brain, ready to wake up at the first opportunity.

Maybe it's because I took the "nose" from my father, not esthetically (I got the shape but not the size .. I don't mean to be rude, but I got lucky), but on a sensory level .. maybe I owe him my sense of smell to him not only for the genes, but for the "training" .. in many pictures of me as a child with my father, he is making me smell some lavender, some rosemary or who knows what other herb.
May this have influenced my smell development? I don't know, but I like to think so.

And, if some smells bring back autumn (roasted chestnuts or the smell or underwood, mushrooms), summer (the smell of salt or sun cream) or spring atmospheres (the spring has its own characteristic smell, and I believe it comes from the life that springs up again after the winter lethargy), there are some smells that come along the winter .. in these days we are surrounded by the smell of snow ("What does snow smell like?" you'd ask I think it has a smell, but I can't describe it or define it), but there are some smells and combination of smells that they "scent" like winter, warm house, steaming tea.

In my opinion the scent of cinnamon, honey and baked apples are among winter scents.. so why don't combine them in a muffin?


Recipe by Francesca, from the blog Tracce di cibo (freely interpreted)

Ingredients (12 muffins)

* 300 g all purpose flour

* 12 pecan nuts, coarsely chopped

* 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

* 1 teaspoon of baking powder

* 1 apple (make 12 little slices -you'll use them to garnish- and dice the rest)

* 110 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled down

* 2 eggs

* 100 g honey (use the one that you like the most . I used millefiori honey, but next time I want to try the chestnut one, 'cause it's tastier)

* 150 g natural yogurt

* milk (optional)


In a bowl mix the dry ingredients (flour, pecans, cinnamon and apple dices). In another bowl mix the liquid ingredients (butter, eggs, yogurt), and then pout the liquids into the dry ingredients, without stirring too much (the dough shouldn't be too smooth).

If the dough is too dry (it should be easily mixed with a spoon), you can add some milk.

Preheat the oven to 356° F (180 ° C).

Line a muffin tray with paper cups and fill them to 3/4 (I fill them a little bit more) and then place in each muffin a slice of apple, pushing it into the batter.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes (but check with a toothpick, as always).

These muffins are wet and spongy (because of apple and yogurt), and they aren't very sweet (for me they are perfect, but I don't like too sweet dessert). If you like sweeter sweets (sorry for the pun), add more honey. I think next time I'll add some maple syrup: Francesca served these muffins with maple syrup, and I want to try and put it in the batter.


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