September 27, 2011

Apple muffin recipes and some cold hard facts


Upon walking into the kitchen early Sunday morning and discovering two dozen muffins, boyfriend Jack asked a very wise question:

What's the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?

... well ... umm ...

I had no idea but instead of admitting my lack of baking knowledge -- and ruining his image of me as a cupcake-muffin-making goddess -- I did what any know-it-all girlfriend would do.

I lied guessed.

Cupcakes are sweeter than muffins ... and you can eat muffins for breakfast ... duh!

Sounds legit, right? Especially with the duh.

Boyfriend accepted this definition (he's just finding out I made it up right about now. Hi Jack! Love you!) but I wanted to double check the facts in case I'm faced with a similar question in the future. And after a quick Google search it turns out I was kind of sort of right.

You see, cupcakes are made out of cake batter and muffins are made out of quick bread batter. Cake batter is sweeter than quick bread batter so thus cupcakes are sweeter than muffins.

So like I said -- duh!

These two muffin recipes -- chunky apple muffins with a maple syrup glaze and cinnamon-apple cider muffins -- are delicious, moist, and perfect for breakfast. Plus they look fantastic in my brand new cupcake-muffin tree. Yes I used apples again (previous apple recipes here and here) but they're in season and my favorite fall fruit.

(OK, fine. All my apples were going bad and I had a gallon of barely touched apple cider and a pint of buttermilk from last week that needed to be used up STAT.)


Chunky apple muffins with maple syrup glaze
Inspired by Martha Stewart and Ina Garten

Ingredients

For the muffins:
  • 2 (or 3) small tart apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (I like a lot of apple in mine so I did 3)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
For the glaze:
  • 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I used slightly more since I like my glaze to be a little runny. And super sweet.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 12 standard muffin tins.
  2. Cut 6 (or 10) of your 8 (or 12) apple quarters into 1/4-inch dices. 
  3. Cut the remaining 2 apple quarter into 12 thin slices for garnish. (That make sense, right? It's how Martha put it so it should.) 
  4. Whisk together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add diced apple and toss to coat.
  5. Whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and butter in a small bowl.
  6. Gently fold buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until just combined; do not overmix. If you over-stir muffins, they come out dry and gross. According to the Joy of Cooking. 
  7. Divide batter among muffin cups (they'll probably be super full) and top each with an apple slice.
  8. Bake until muffins are brown around edges -- 16 to 18 minutes.
  9. While muffins are cooling, combine the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla for the glaze. 
  10. Drizzle each muffin with about a tablespoon of glaze. Feel free to use more if you like things on the sweeter side, just remember, as Ina Garten said,  "The warmer the scones are when you glaze them, the thinner the glaze will be." 
Total muffins: 12
Total time: 30 (ish) minutes


Cinnamon-apple cider muffins
Inspired by Food.com 

Ingredients

For the muffins:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 beaten egg 
  • 3/4 cup apple cider 
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil 

For the topping:
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line 12 standard muffin tins.
  2. To make the topping, stir together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl -- then cut the butter in with a pastry blender. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
  4. In another small bowl, combine the egg, apple cider, and oil.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until JUST moisten.
  6. Divide batter among muffin cups and sprinkle with the topping,
  7. Bake until golden brown -- about 20 minutes.

Total muffins: 12
Total time: 40 (ish) minutes

Muffin. DESTROYED.

4 comments:

  1. I'm going to (try to) make those apple cider muffins tomorrow! I just went and got all the ingredients.. couldn't resist after seeing your picture. Thanks for posting this!!

    ReplyDelete