Sunday, September 13, 2009

maple-apple knitting muffins

You probably won't believe where this recipe came from: a novel. Yes, I was reading Knit Two, the sequel to The Friday Night Knitting Club. In these books, the daughter, Dakota, loves to bake. Each book includes a muffin recipe, and with the apples on my tree practically taunting me, I thought I'd give this recipe a try. It seemed an unlikely source for a recipe - sure, if the book were about cooking - but I can't imagine going to the trouble of publishing the recipe as an extra feature if it weren't good.

Verdict: surprisingly good! Especially in comparison to the next batch I made from a different recipe (a post for another day). In the last few things I've made with white whole wheat flour (these muffins and buttermilk waffles), I can really taste the difference in the wheat, and it makes for a different mouth-feel - more gritty, for lack of a more polished description. Despite that, they were remarkably delicate, which I would not have expected from a lower-fat, apple muffin. (Apples and applesauce are often used in lower-fat recipes.) Other comments: I couldn't taste or smell the maple at all. The combination of the darker flour, maple syrup, and brown sugar lent to a darker-colored muffin. Not a bad thing, necessarily. I loved the chunks of apple. And my father-in-law, who by his own admission doesn't like apple muffins, emailed me to say, "By my calculations there are another 6,000 muffins on your tree. Keep 'em coming."

It turns out author Kate Jacobs took the muffin research process quite seriously! Read on...

Maple Apple Muffins
1 3/4 cups (5 ounces) whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup maple syrup (use the good stuff, not Log Cabin!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 1/2 cups peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped Granny Smith apples (3-4 apples)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
apple slices (optional - for the garnish)
brown sugar and cinnamon (optional - for the garnish)

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a muffin tin with paper baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Add the oil, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla, and stir. Mix in the brown sugar. I love that you can do this all by hand, and quickly.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine. Stir in the apples. Add nuts if desired.

Pour batter into muffin cups, filling to the top. Kate Jacobs suggests an optional garnish (which I omitted because I sliced up all the apples I had hunted for in the dark): place two apple slices on the top of each unbaked muffin, plus a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon. I did sprinkle mine with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until muffins are set and lightly brown on top. Remove the muffins from the baking pan and cool on a wire rack. If you don't remove them, they will steam and get tough - ick. As with all muffins, these are especially delicious warm, with sweet butter. Enjoy!

Makes 12-15 muffins.

1 comment:

The Food Librarian said...

I love muffins. I love maple. And, you guessed it, I love apple. These look perfect.