Spiced Apple Muffins

I don’t know what words to use to convey how amazing this simple recipe is.  I had a glut of apples, and needed a creative outlet.  This was a recipe of convenience.  My expectations were marginal, so it was a total surprise when these muffins knocked my socks off (it’s okay, I prefer to be barefoot).  As soon as the first batch was gone, I whipped up a second.  With no intention of sharing.

spiced-apple-muffinsSo soft, these muffins are studded with chunks of tender apple and a hint of fall spices, while still maintaining a healthy attitude with 100% whole wheat flour.  In this muffin, the nuttiness of whole wheat really compliments the spiced apple and rounds out the flavor.  It is…the perfect muffin.  The secret ingredient?  Applesauce.  I made a lot of applesauce for canning this year, which worked out perfectly.  If you don’t have any unsweetened applesauce, it’s really easy to make a small batch.  Peel and slice some apples (around 2 c.) and add them to a pot with water (1/4 c.), and steam the apples until they’ve softened into applesauce (I’m just guessing here – maybe 20 minutes?  Don’t forget to stir).  It will still be a little chunky, but that’s just fine for these muffins. 
applesauceYou’ll also need a few peeled apples cut into half inch chunks.  I used some sweet Cortlands, which allowed me to cut down on some of the sugar originally in this recipe.
fresh-chopped-applesSo there are the apples, now here are the spices.  Ground ginger, cinnamon and dark cloves.
spiced-mixThe dry ingredients get mixed, then all but two tablespoons folded into the wet ingredients. The reserved tablespoons are used to coat the apples.
spiced-applesThis is the thickest muffin batter I have ever made.  About the consistency (and color) of peanut butter.
apple-muffin-batter-2Because of the amount of apple in these muffins, they don’t rise as much as typical muffins, which means you can stuff even more batter in the muffin tin.
apple-muffin-batterThe smells that start wafting through the house might draw in the neighbors.  Consider yourself warned.
apple-muffins
Spiced Apple Muffins

Spiced Apple Muffins

These muffins are studded with chunks of tender apple and a hint of fall spices, while still maintaining a healthy attitude with 100% whole wheat flour.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large or 4 small apples (about 3 c., peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in the applesauce, and then the eggs, and then the vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Take 2 tablespoons of this dry mixture and toss it with the chopped apples until coated.
  4. Stir the flour into the wet ingredients, in 3 batches. Then gently stir in the apples.
  5. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray (I use a refillable olive oil sprayer - it's great!). Fill each muffin cup with batter, until just about to the top of the tin. These muffins will not rise as much as typical muffins.
  6. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. I found the baking time to be remarkably consistent. 18 minutes was perfect.

adapted from iowagirleats

http://www.theeverythingkitchen.com/spiced-apple-muffins/

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