Thursday, November 6, 2008

Caramel Apple Muffins

Last weekend we finally went apple picking, on the last possible day before the closest orchard to us in Virginia closed. We had the camera all ready to go, and then forgot it on the kitchen counter. Of course. The orchard was beautiful, and the day was perfect. It was warm and sunny, for early November, and the hills were covered in fall colors. We had a blast pulling the apples off the trees with the hooky basket contraptions they give you. Maybe we had too much fun, because we ended up with 20 pounds of Stayman and York apples (and a gallon of apples cider). I don't know if this happens to anyone else, but when you are in the open air, it never seems like that much fruit. Then when you get it into your kitchen it expands exponentially. How does that work?

I've been eating apples with cheddar cheese, apples with homemade caramel, and apple pie all week. (I'm not a fan of my apple pie. My poppop's is better.) As a side note, making caramel is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I read David Lebovitz's Ten Tips for Making Caramel and How to Make Perfect Caramel, got totally freaked out and afraid it would be a disaster/a third degree burn, then proceeded to use this Smitten Kitchen recipe. Easy breezy. No burns, and I even burn myself straightening my own hair in the morning.

So basically after consuming copious amounts of raw apples+topping, I felt like I should bake them into something. My aforementioned pie was still in the fridge less than half eaten, and I didn't want another desert sitting around that I would feel guilty wasting and guilty eating.

I adapted this muffin recipe from the power muffin recipe I usually use, so these are actually a decently healthful breakfast. Since I had the homemade caramel in the refrigerator I decide to use that to sweeten the muffins instead of just sugar. They aren't actually super caramelly because I didn't use that much, in the interest of keeping them from being calorie bombs, but they are tasty. I also made the applesauce to use in the muffins so that I could use up some more apples before they start to get funky. I only used 3 tbs. sugar to 10 small apples this time for the applesauce, so it was not as sweet as store bought applesauce.

Caramel Apple Muffins
Makes 12

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup apple cider (or juice)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups apples, diced small
1/2 cup caramel

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a muffin pan with cooking spray or fill with paper muffin cups.
-Mix the first seven dry ingredients (up to and including baking soda) in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and stir in the apple cider and applesauce.
-Add wet ingredients to the dry mix. Stir until combined, then fold in the caramel and the diced apples. (Microwave the caramel for 20 seconds if it is not runny.)
-Spoon into muffin tin. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



Anonymous said...

OH YUM! Those look fabulous!!

muddywaters said...

This looks great. I might need to focus on this recipe rather than perfecting my apple bread.

Kate said...

Thanks! I tried to make an apple bread this weekend, those are harder than they look... it tasted good, but boy was it a mess.