Apples are starting to pop up just about everywhere, so I decided to welcome the very beginnings of fall with these apple muffins. Specked with warm cinnamon and hearty pecans, the moist crumb is unsuspectingly delicious yet fairly healthy (healthy is always a relative term, don’t you think?).
I ate one of these yesterday morning with my coffee and it accompanied the crisp air and warm sun so beautifully, it got me to thinking about the leaves turning, which prompted a bit of a journey. I decided we needed to head up to the top of our little mountain for a view. We meandered up to the ski lodge around the corner from our home and took the sky-way all the way up. You’ll have to pardon the phone photo for the “before” shot, since I didn’t bring my good camera. I surely will next time.
The leaves are still mostly green, as you can see. But soon they’ll be amber and gold and we’ll have hot cider and cocoa in hand, bundled and huddled together. Apple picking and pie making will be nearly done by then and the pumpkins will be plentiful, as will the miles of traffic to get into the farms once the city dwellers (I say lovingly, of course) start travelling out for the weekend to catch a glimpse of our little nook of the country in its autumnal glory.
It’s so close, yet so far away. Time to relish the momentous apple season. These muffins are the perfect way to enter into the unofficial beginning of fall. Besides, they’re easy, quick to bake, and nobody is ever disappointed by warm, homemade muffins on a brisk Monday morning . Apples and cinnamon and pecans within a simple and delicate sweet crumb baked to perfection. They’re delicious any time of day, especially this time of year.
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup melted butter, cooled to room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup natural applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
- 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces, or smaller
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12-count muffin tin with baking wrappers, or alternately just spray the tin with cooking spray.
Mix together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl: all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, baking soda and salt.
Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and butter in a large bowl until combined. Add in eggs one at a time, whisking thoroughly after each egg is added. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.
Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk until just combined.
Gently stir in the apple chunks.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle each with the pecan mixture.
Gently press the pecan mixture into each muffin. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and cool completely on the rack.
adapted from Source: 2005, Ellie Krieger