Sunday, October 30, 2011
Apple Pie Muffins
Living in Southern California makes it a bit challenging to discern any transition from one season to the next. I did put on a sweater one day this week, but that was more to tolerate the frigid zone that is my office. Plus it was overcast outside so I thought I could justify it. But the temps were in the 60's, which was the coolest daytime temperature this week. The temps have climbed up to the 70's and low 80's this weekend. I shouldn't complain. It's not snowing here like it is in the northeast part of the country. Anyway, it really isn't the weather that defines the seasons here. For me it is the food that tells me what season it is. And over the last few weeks I've been cooking and baking with some of my favorite fall ingredients, like pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and apples.
These apple muffins caught my eye when I spotted them on My Baking Addiction and I knew I needed to make them. They have large chunks of apple and crunchy crumb topping. I'm always a sucker for a crumb topping. I used gala apples, because that is what I had on hand and I found the muffins to be a bit too sweet. I have a feeling if I had used the tart granny smith apple that the recipe calls for the sweetness would balance out. If you use a sweet apple I recommend reducing the brown sugar in the muffin recipe by 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Despite the extra sweetness, I really enjoyed these muffins. They are definitely reminiscent of apple pie.
Do you ever freeze your muffins? If you have more muffins than your household can eat within a couple of days, try freezing them. Once the muffins are completely cool, individually wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. Place the individually wrapped muffins in a freezer storage zip top bag and remove excess air. When you want to eat a muffin (or 2), just take the wrapped muffin out of the freezer before you head to bed the night before and set it on the countertop. It will be completely thawed and ready to eat in the morning. It's a great way to prevent muffins from going to waste and to have a nice treat without having to bake again.
Apple Pie Muffins
from My Baking Addiction
Makes 12 muffins
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or use cinnamon)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups chopped granny smith apples, about 1/2 - 3/4 inch chunks
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper cupcake liners and set aside. In a large bowl whisk 2 1/4 cups flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted butter, vanilla and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and gently stir until just combined. Gently fold in the apples. Fill muffin liners nearly to the top.
Make the topping by combining 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup of flour, rolled oats and cinnamon in a small bowl. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons melted butter and mix until combined. Distribute all the top mixture evenly across the muffins. Don't be shy!
Bake for 25 minutes or until tops spring back or a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin on a wire rack.