So what do you do when your team wins their second World Series in three years? Well, you put your happily beaming children to bed, watch a few minutes of the post game, then mix up a tasty cocktail and smile….. and then you go outside and give up a seriously primal scream of joy and relief. UNBELIEVABLE! And you know what you do the next morning? You sit down with a good cup of coffee and a tasty apple cinnamon muffin and read all the news on how your team
kicked-ass won. Your kids are still beaming, the kitchen is warm and smells like fall. Happy days here by the Bay.
And even if your team didn’t win the Series, you can still enjoy a tasty, spicy apple muffin. If you’re like us, we can get a bit “enthusiastic” when we buy apples. If we don’t eat them out of hand, we take the extra apples that may be getting soft and make applesauce or these muffins. And these muffins are exactly as advertised. They have a pronounced apple and cinnamon flavors and feature a crisp top with a very soft interior. Good for breakfast, but not bad as an afternoon treat, either.
Like many baking recipes, these muffins come from a familiar formula, but a few tips and techniques do matter. Firstly, we grate our apples in this recipe. Grating provides a more uniform texture and gives you apple flavor in every bite. Secondly, we also butter (using cooking spray) the muffin tin, then the paper cups and the top of the tin. There is a method to the madness, the longer muffins cool in the tin, the tougher they get. If you heavily grease the tin and the paper cups you can get the muffins out of the tin as soon as you can handle them. This makes a big difference, the muffins will be moist and tender. And finally, we substitute half of the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour for a “nuttier” flavor. We like the extra flavor, but regular AP flour will work fine.
Otherwise, making these muffins is pretty standard baking (we adapted the recipe from King Arthur Flour). Grease your muffin tip and cups and preheat the oven. Whisk together the dry ingredients, then the wet. Combine the mixtures and add the apple (use any variety of apple you like). Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and then top with some extra cinnamon and sugar. Bake until a tester comes out clean and then cool and remove the muffins from the tin as soon as you can. We like ours with just a little butter or jam (very good with the Pear Cardamom Butter, btw). These muffins are good just about anytime and your kitchen will smell like heaven, but after a Series victory, they smell and taste just a little better… ;-)
(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)
Notes Before You Start:
- Any apple variety will work in this recipe, but the apple flavor will lead the dish. Use an apple with flavor you like. We used Mutsu and Johnathan apples but any good baking apple is a good choice.
What You Get: East, tasty and spicy muffins with very moist and tender texture. A great-smelling kitchen.
What You Need: A muffin tin and paper muffin cups. Cooking spray really is the best choice for greasing the muffin tin and cups with this recipe.
How Long? About 45 minutes to an hour, with 15 – 20 minutes of active time. Anytime dish, if you are an early riser. These muffins also freeze well so they can be made ahead and stored.
(Makes 12 muffins)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or sub 1/2 white whole wheat flour)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups (8 oz.) peeled, grated apples (about 2 medium apples).
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using cooking spray, grease the muffin tin and then grease and insert paper muffin cups into the tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until uniform in color and then beat in the milk and melted butter. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and then fold in the grated apple.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Combine the remaining cinnamon and sugar and then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the muffins. Place the muffins in the oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 20 – 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, or as soon as you can handle the muffins, and then remove the muffins from the tin and transfer them to a cooling rack. Serve.