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Friday, November 29, 2013

Apple Muffins I

It's apple season, so it's the perfect time for this recipe.  (I labelled it as "I" because I have another apple muffin recipe that I might post eventually as "II".)  As it happened, I had just picked a couple Granny Smiths from a local tree, and this was a great use for one of them.

The original recipe for these muffins call them "doughnut muffins" -- that is, just like doughnuts only baked in a muffin tin.  While delicious, these are not nearly as dense as a doughnut.   (For muffins that really do taste like doughnuts, try this Pumpkin Ice Cream Muffin recipe.)  I confess, I made quite a few modifications, so perhaps that's the culprit.

For starters, I didn't want a full batch.  (It would make about 20 regular muffins.)  I  really cut it down and went with 1/4 of the recipe, which gave me 5 moderately-sized muffins.  I was out of milk, so I substituted heavy cream  and omitted the oil.  As usual, I also substituted some of the white flour for whole wheat. Here's what I worked with:

  • 1/2 cup diced (small) apple, unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup apple cider 
  • 3 tablespoon butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dark molasses
  • 1 medium to large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/8 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, ginger, cloves
  • butter and cinnamon-sugar to top
Generally, I followed the directions as given (except I ended up cooking all the liquid out of the apples.  Oops.)  The original  recipe doesn't tell when to add them to the batter; I made sure they were cool enough not to cook the egg, then added them slowly to the wet mixture.  I then gently stirred in the combined dry ingredients.  I baked them for 23 minutes, but you should start checking them after 15 minutes.  While still warm, I spread a little melted butter on the tops and then dunked the tops into cinnamon sugar.

Conclusion:  These were a little fussy with all the ingredients and the extra step of cooking down the apples, but they were really tasty.  Not at all doughnut-like, but soft and light -- the perfect muffin texture.  I highly recommend a tart apple, because it gives a wonderful tang that contrasts nicely with all the spices and the sweet cinnamon-sugar topping.

Original recipe:  Mini Apple Cider Doughnut Muffins via Fia's Maine Kitchen

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