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Tree-to-Oven Apple Muffins

 

 
As soon as I see a leaf on the ground I crave apples. Bright red crunch apples just scream fall to me. And I end up eating them any way I can – out of hand, in pancakes, roasted with squash, and lately, in muffins. I end up with dozens of apple “carcasses” in my fridge, thanks to a toddler who takes a bite of an apple and then starts in on another one! I just couldn't finish one more apple so I decided to make muffins. These moist, not-too-sweet muffins are very simple to throw together and the addition of whole-wheat flour makes them feel somewhat healthy. Feel free to add whatever leftover apples you have; I've tried a variety of apples and they all work perfectly. Final note: I skip the topping when serving them to my daughter (she doesn't need any more sugar!), but it does add a nice crunch.

 

 

 

APPLE MUFFINS

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (canola oil can be substituted)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups chopped apples (chopped into ¼-inch cubes)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped 
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or baking spray.
  2. In a small bowl make the topping if using: combine the sugar and flour together and stir in the melted butter. Stir in the walnuts or pecans.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the two cups of flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the egg, butter, and buttermilk. Stir just until moistened; do not overmix. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Add the apples and nuts and gently fold them into the batter. Do not overmix.
  4. Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling just above the rim of the cup. If you’re using the topping, spoon about a tablespoon over each filled muffin cup.
  5. Bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. (A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin should come out clean.) Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Unmold the muffins and serve. The muffins will keep in an airtight container in the ‘fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat the muffins in a low oven or toaster oven. Makes 12 muffins