Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

I'll try not to say it too often over the next months (although I can't really make any promises), but I absolutely love Fall. Living in New England, it's almost impossible not to get excited about the crisp bite in the air, the beautiful landscapes and the seasonal fall festivals, craft shows and leaf peeping.

Right now, that means apples. We've consistently had at least a dozen apples in the house at any given moment over the past couple of weeks, and we're barely into apple season. My kids and I, though, take this as an open invitation to get creative in the kitchen. My 4-year old son and I did just that with moist, sweet apple muffins, capped off with a crunchy brown sugar topping. We split the batter between 12 regular size tins and 12 mini muffin tins so that he could take some to preschool for snack. Probably the best part of the process for my son was using the apple "machine," my peeler/corer. It's a great time-saver, but also a great way to get kids excited about eating apples.

I found the recipe on, yet another blogging site I recently discovered through a friend. The recipe is originally from King Arthur Flour, a Vermont company (and the oldest flour company in the U.S.) that really does it right. Their flours are free of additives and they are involved in a lot of community projects. And they come up with great recipes, as their Whole Wheat Apple Muffin recipe proves.

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
From King Arthur Flour, via

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 T cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed (I used light brown sugar)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 T vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup = good substitute)
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 450. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) One note - I could not get the buttermilk to combine, so I started adding the flour, which worked well. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cook completely.

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