After cookies, muffins were the first thing I learned to bake, way way back when I was a rosy-cheeked lass. The process is simple enough, and in about 30 minutes from start to finish you have tender and moist little cakes you can hold in your hand. What’s not to love about a muffin? Of course there are a million recipes for muffins, and the real fun is in the add-ins and flavour combinations. Banana chocolate? Yes please! Blueberry and lemon? Give it to me! But one of my all-time favorites has to be apple-cinnamon. There is something so comforting about this classic combination, and these muffins are darn near perfection. Loaded with tasty chunks of apple, a tender crumb, and a buttery oat crumble topping, it’s easy to see why these muffins disappeared quickly from my kitchen.
I wanted to use a tart apple which will not only hold its shape while baking, but one that will balance the sweetness of the crunchy oat topping. Organic Washington Granny Smith apples fit the bill perfectly. Fun fact: The United States is the leading organic apple producer in the world, with Washington State growing more than 90% of U.S. certified organic apples. Washington state is known for being one of the premier apple-growing regions in the world, thanks to advantageous growing conditions. The apple trees grow in nutrient-rich, volcanic soil, perfect for growing fruit. The dry climate and ideal temperatures reduce the number of diseases and pest issues that can wreak havoc on the fruit. Plus, plentiful water and advanced growing practices provide the right ingredients for growing top-quality fruit. Moreover, Organic Washington apples are available in every key variety, and each one is picked by hand. Just imagine that! Super cool, right? I love eating apples in a variety of ways - one medium apple has just 72 calories and 19 carbohydrates and is an excellent source of fibre and vitamin C.
While these muffins are simple to put together, there are a few tips and tricks to ensure an excellent outcome. First off, be sure that your ingredients such as butter, eggs, and yogurt are at room temperature. The batter will mix together evenly and quickly this way. And, when you are combining the wet and dry ingredients, be careful not to over mix the batter. A few swoops to make sure there are no dry bits should do it. If you overmix, the muffins won’t be as tender. I don’t know who started all of that business with filling the muffin cups 3/4 full, but it really makes no sense. Fill those cups to the top! If your batter is thick like this one is, they shouldn’t spill over. And finally, when you bake the muffins at a high temperature initially, that burst of heat will lift the muffin top, then when you lower the temp, the centre of the muffin bakes thoroughly. Neat trick!
These are buttery muffins, richly flavoured with cinnamon and juicy Organic Washington apples. The yogurt in the batter ensures a moist, tender crumb with a slightly dense texture, and the buttery oat crumble is the perfect topping. To make these muffins even more delicious and photogenic, you can drizzle with a quick vanilla icing, but these are absolutely delectable on their own. This is a simple recipe which even the beginner baker can tackle with great success, and it’s made with basic ingredients found in your kitchen. The only thing you have to shop for is the Organic Washington apples, and they are widely available in your local supermarket.
1/4 cup melted salted butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup large-flake oats
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup milk
2 medium Organic Washington Granny Smith apples, peeld, cored and chopped into 1/2 -inch pieces
Vanilla Icing (optional):
1/2 cup icing sugar
1-2 Tbsp coffee cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with large paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Gently mix in the flour and the oats. Don’t overmix - there should be crumbles, not a paste.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and salt.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a bowl and a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, yogurt and vanilla. Beat for another minute on medium speed, then beat for a few minutes on high speed until light and creamy. It’s ok if the mixture looks a little curdled. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
5. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients and the milk. Beat until smooth and incorporated. Fold in the Organic Washington Granny Smith apples.
6. Fill the muffin cups to the top then spoon some of the crumble topping over each, pressing it down with a spoon so it sticks to the batter.
7. Bake for five minutes at 425ºF, then turn the oven down to 350ºF and bake for another 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are golden brown. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. In a small bowl, mix together the icing ingredients. You may have to adjust the amounts of icing sugar and cream to get the desired consistency. Drizzle over the muffins, if you like. Makes 12-14 muffins.