Friday, September 25, 2009

apple muffins

I keep trying apple recipes, impatient for the ones on the tree to turn red. They're really not sweet enough for applesauce (without added sugar) yet, but they work fine in muffins because the dough itself is sweet. I used the basic "all star" KAF recipe, which is great with cranberries, but to be honest, I much preferred the maple-whole wheat recipe from a few weeks ago.

The KAF books lists two variations with apples: one has grated apple and the other has diced apples. I split the batter and made a few of each, and the grated apple were very underwhelming. They were dense and heavy. The ones with diced apples were better, but not best. I threw some dried cranberries into a few of them to brighten up the color. Although I'd make this recipe again, I would not use the apple variations!

All-Star Muffins (makes 16-20 muffins)

3 1/2 cups (14 3/4 ounces) flour (or 14 ounces cake flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream (I sometimes substitute plain yogurt)

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy and almost white in color. Scrape down sides to make sure the butter is all incorporated, then add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth. Fill muffin cups and sprinkle with large-grained sugar. Bake 18-24 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool in pan for 5 minutes, and then rmove the muffins to finish cooling on a rack.

Note: The batter will keep, once mixed, for up to a week in the refrigerator. You can just scoop out enough batter to bake one or two each morning. Fresh muffins - yum!

They list eight or ten variations to the basic recipe, but these are the two I used. Fold these ingredients in before baking:
Apple Cinnamon (3-4 tart apples, grated, and 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar. Top muffins with cinnamon sugar before baking)

Apple, Banana, Nectarine, Peach, Plum (3 cups of fruit, diced. Garnish muffin tops with granulated sugar)

See the difference in texture? The ones on the right with the diced apples are more cake-like and light. Much nicer.

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