Monday, March 17, 2014

Cubicle kitchen: Apple Almond Mini-Muffins

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!  I don't have any leprechaun cupcakes or shamrock cookies for you, but I do have some yummy apple muffins.  Because potato ones didn't sound as tasty.

I don't know that I've ever shared with you my love of apples.  For a while there, it was a little obsessive.  I was using an app on my phone to take pictures and notes when I tried new varieties, because my phases of obsession are usually accompanied by a strong desire to catalogue (see: Froyo Files).

While I still love apples, I don't record the tasting notes each time I bite into one anymore.  The other week I tried a variety called Kanzi which was pretty good.  It's amazing how different each kind can taste.  Personally, I lean towards crisp and tart, like Granny Smith.  I also love Pink Ladies, Braeburns, and Jonagolds.

When I started this recipe, I thought I would end up with more of an apple blondie, but the final texture is definitely more in the muffin realm.  The only difference that makes to me in terms of changes I would make would be using paper liners.  Otherwise, they are, as I said, yummy.  They have a great mix of textures from the super-moist crumb to the bites of almond and the apples with just a little crunch left in them.  There's a hint of spice, but if you want something more autumnal you could certainly add more.

Apple Almond Mini-Muffins
Adapted from Allrecipes: Apple Brownies
Makes about 40 mini-muffins

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 scoop Trader Joe's Spicy Chai Mix
  • 1 cup sugar, minus the volume of the chai mix
  • 1 egg
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and cubed (I used one Granny Smith and one large Braeburn)
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Spice Almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Trader Joe's pumpkin spice blend

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together.  Add egg and mix thoroughly.  Fold in apples and nuts.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients, and add to wet dough, stirring until combined.
  4. Spoon into prepared* mini-muffin tins.  Because the muffins won't rise much, you can fill wells almost completely.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

*I didn't use paper liners, but because of the moistness of this muffin, I would suggest it.  If you don't, make sure you use some non-stick spray and allow the muffins to cool before carefully removing them.

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