Thursday, October 28, 2010

Apple Muffins with Maple Icing

Apples. I love them. No, seriously, I love them.

There hasn't been a time in my life where apples have not been present in whatever place I'm housing. It's true.

Ask my Dad. He has the Costco receipts.

When fall comes around, I get giddy. Sure, apples are widely available at all times of the year but it's this time in specific that they really start to get tasty. Not only that, but you've got a wide variety at your disposable. Granny Smith. Jazz. Red Delicious. Fuji. Pink Lady. And I guess we can include the Grapple in there, too (although I am not a fan of the grape/apple hybrid species).

Out of all of them, I prefer my Red Delicious and Fuji. Fuji when I want something a little lighter and sweeter. Red Delicious when I want that CRUNCH every time I bite in. Yeah, i'm a crunchy-sweet-apple fan.

Which means I hate Granny Smith. In everything. Including Apple Pie. I don't know who decided a tart apple would be the best kind of apple to use for pie, but I highly disagree on all levels. That clever Granny Smith may look all sparkling green in the apple bin... but it's just to fool you. No wonder they call them Granny Smith. It's like biting into a bitter old lady with 9 cats. Grainy. Tart. Yuck.

No offense to bitter old ladies with 9 cats or Granny Smith fans... I love you. Just not the apples. Sorry.

These apple muffins in particular are fantastic. And while you could go ahead and use Granny Smith if that's your preference, I prefered a combo of my two favorites: Fuji and Red Delicious. One of each, to be specific. And as unhealthy as they may look, the only guilty thing about these babies is the brown sugar topping and perfect maple icing that pairs along with it. Seriously. Maple Icing... Where have you been all my life? I could have sat there dunking apple pieces in that stuff until I had a sugar stroke. No lie.

They are made primarily with applesauce in replace of butter and oil, with a little bit of yogurt to help keep them moist. I sifted the flours together twice to get a more light crumb but you can just go ahead and whisk them if you prefer. They are loaded with cinnamon and have just a tad bit of actual sugar in them. I couldn't really find one recipe for these in specific so I just ended up mixing some recipes together and bam: Apple Muffins.

By the way, these are worth going to the store and buying real maple syrup for. Don't use that fake pancake stuff. It's not the same AT ALL.

I hope you all are enjoying apple season as much as I am. Even if you do like Granny Smith.

Apple Muffins with Maple Icing

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 medium sized apples, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds (optional)

Crumble Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar or granulated sugar
1/4 cup oats, rolled or quick-cooking
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons butter, cold
handful of toasted slivered almonds, optional
(if you like A LOT of topping, double this)

Maple Icing:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons REAL maple syrup (NO PANCAKE SYRUP)
1 teaspon to 1 tablespoon milk, to thin

1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Prepare muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or liners.
2. Sift or whisk the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Whisk together the sugars and applesauce in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and yogurt. Mix until smooth.

4. Combine the flour with the applesauce mixture and stir until no trace of flour remains. Mixture will be thick. Fold in chopped apples and almond slivers, if using.

5. To make the crumble topping, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, oats, and almonds together. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in the butter in small pieces until mixture is crumbly.

5. Distribute batter evenly between muffin cups, sprinkling the crumble topping on each one as desired. Bake at 400F for 18-20 minutes (NOTE: Mine were done in 14 minutes so make sure to check them with a toothpick a little earlier on). Cool on wire rack when done.

6. While muffins are baking, make the maple icing. Simply whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup. Add milk in teaspoonfuls until icing drizzles easily off the tip of a spoon or fork.

7. Once muffins are done and cooled, drizzle maple icing on each one. Don't be flimsy with it either. I'm watching you.

Makes 16-18 Muffins.


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