Apple Muffins

I love apple pie, but unless it’s an extra special occasion, I’m adverse to chilling and rolling out dough for a pie crust.  Apple Muffins are a quick and easy way to satisfy your apple pie craving with less effort and all of the benefits.  These tender muffins are stuffed with baked apples, cinnamon, and other apple pie spices, and the muffin top is slightly crunchy due to the caramelized brown sugar.  If you split a muffin in half and top it with vanilla bean ice cream (Häagen-Dazs makes a good one), you have your own delicious version of apple pie a la mode.

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A cross section view of the muffin with baked apple chunks bursting out.
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Apple Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
(from King Arthur Flour)
My notes are in [  ] below.

Ingredients

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (5 5/8 ounces)brown sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk; or 1 cup plain (not Greek-style) yogurt; or 3/4 cup (6 ounces) Greek-style yogurt + 1/4 cup (2 ounces) milk [I used King Arthur Flour Dried Buttermilk Powder]
2 cup (8 1/2 ounces) All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon [I used Penzey’s Baking Spice which is a combination of cinnamon, anise, allspice, mace and cardamom]
2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) peeled, cored, and chopped apples; about 2 large apples, about 3/4 pound whole apples

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin pan, or line with papers and lightly grease the insides of the papers.
  3. Mix together the butter, granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, beating until fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and mix well, stopping once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  5. Gently mix in the buttermilk or yogurt.
  6. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Then mix into the wet ingredients until just combined.  Do not overmix to keep the muffins tender.
  7. Fold in the chopped apples.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar on top.
  9. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  10. Remove the muffins from the oven, cool them for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling completely.

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