Quite possibly the perfect way to start a crisp fall morning. A fluffy muffin chock full of apples and cinnamon, double dipped in a sweet glaze. Paired with coffee or tea and you've got a lovely morning ahead of you. You know I'm not the biggest fan of apple flavored desserts, so it must mean something that I adored these muffins. Maybe it was the glaze. The double glaze. Or maybe it was just the perfect combination of flavors that let the apple mingle so nicely with everything else that it was apple baked good bliss. Whatever it was, these muffins are excellent and they should be made in your kitchen before apple season ends.
For over a year, I've been following Christina at Sweet Pea's Kitchen (remember her from last week's Corn & Black Bean Taquitos?), and let me tell you: that girl can cook! She makes some damn tasty looking muffins and I finally had to try one. I actually debated between a few of her recipes, but when I woke up one morning and looked at the bounty of farm stand apples over flowing my fruit bowl, the decision was easy. I used two McIntosh apples which were on the perfect cusp of tart to sweet. I also like that they bake away and don't retain their crunchiness in the finished product, unlike a Granny Smith. It's purely a preference thing, so go with what you like. Deep inside Madaline's pantry, I found this can of buttermilk base. It's a powder you add your dry ingredients and then in lieu of actual buttermilk, you use water. Since I didn't have actual buttermilk, I figured I'd give this a try. I think it works pretty well, it's certainly more convenient than buying a carton of buttermilk when you only need a little bit. The texture was certainly tender, not dry, and based on those beautiful peaks, it sure lifted the baking soda. Finally, since I use a stoneware muffin pan that creates a beautiful "crust" on the edges of my muffins, I did not use muffin liners, just a little cooking spray in the pan. They came out perfectly. The apples on your counter are calling. They want you to cut them up and put them in these muffins; they want to go out in delicious muffin glory.
Apple Fritter Muffins
5 Tablespoons butter, divided
2 medium-large McIntosh apples, or baking apple of choice
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
3 Tablespoons hot water, divided
2 2/3 cups flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (or 1 cup water and 4 Tablespoons buttermilk base, or 1 Tablespoon vinegar plus 1 cup milk)
1 cup powdered sugar
Peel, core and dice apples.
Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the apples, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and two Tablespoons water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender and glazed over, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly before adding 1/3 cup flour, gradually, stirring to coat and thicken the glaze. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining flour and cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Note: Whisk powdered buttermilk base in here if using.
In a large bowl, whisk together applesauce, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup sugar, and brown sugar until smooth and combined.
Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.
Alternately add flour mixture to egg/sugar mixture with buttermilk (or water if you're using powdered buttermilk base) and stir to combine, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Be careful not to overmix and stir just to incorporate.
Fold in the apples until combined.
Divide muffin batter among 16 greased or lined muffin cups.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden, set and tops have a slight bounceback when touched.
Cool in pan for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool slightly, but still warm.
While muffins cool, prepare the glaze by melting 2 Tablespoons butter and whisking with powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 Tablespoon hot water. Glaze should be smooth.
Invert each muffin and dip into the glaze, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. Return to wire rack and continue dipping each muffin. After each muffin has been glazed, repeat the process to dip each muffin a second time. Allow glaze to set before serving.
Makes 16 muffins.
The Cookie Princess
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