After making Jacques Pepin’s delightful Apple Tart I had an enormous quantity of leftover apples already cut up. Because apples turn brown precisely 3.2 seconds after they’ve been cut I clearly needed to do something with them NOW. I looked around for a recipe that might be tasty that called for apples. There were a lot of pies, turnovers, and other recipes that were far too complex for my laziness at the moment. I finally stumbled over an Apple Strudel Muffin recipe, courtesy of NMARIEA on Allrecipes (my initial go to when I need a recipe for anything.) I generally do a search and sort by ratings, pick which one looks best and then hunt through the comments to see what changes people have been making to make it better. A big bag of win for group sourcing there.
I generally don’t make anything unless it’s four and a half stars or better, with hundreds or thousands of reviews. That pretty much guarantees I won’t be wasting my time. There’s nothing worse than investing time, resources, and energy into a recipe and ending up with something I wouldn’t feed to the pigeons. That makes me angry. To be sure there’s failure in cooking sometimes, and that failure often brings its own learning. No bad thing. Better to enter into things with knowledge that four thousand people thought this was tasty, however. As a side note I love the people in the comments who give the recipe a one or two star rating but then go on to reveal they didn’t actually make the recipe:
“I though these muffins were terrible. I didn’t have flour so I used sawdust and dryer lint. And I didn’t have apples so I cut up a used pair of my husbands gym socks. Not sure what you people are going on about. These were awful. I will never make them again ” Thanks for your input.
I like muffins because they are generally easy to make and they bake fairly quickly. I had already put my apple tart into the oven and started to make these and they both came out at the same time. That’s convenience!
I fired up the trusty KitchenAid and got to creaming 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), 1/2 cup of white sugar, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar together. It’s best to start with soft butter. Room temperature is great. If you pull it out of the fridge you can give it 20 or 30 seconds in the microwave and it will still work just fine. Once the sugar and butter have combined into a nice creamy mixture you can add the 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. 2 cups of AP flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. I mix/sift/combine those all together and then slowly add that to the wet mix. One combined you can add 1 and 1/2 cups of chopped apples. Don’t be spinning the mixer when you do this. They get folded in, gently. Just until combined. I chopped them fairly fine, but you can do as you like depending on how large you want your apple chunks. Chopped fine you’ll get the taste but you’d be hard pressed to get much in the way of actual apple chunk when you bite into it.
Now you just need to mix up strudel topping part of your muffin. Yours will not look like mine in the pictures. Mine looks very dark because I opened the wrong side of the cinnamon and did not measure the cinnamon. Sometimes I like to live dangerously and just shake until it looks right. What I did was have an apocalyptic cinnamon avalanche into my bowl. I dumped roughly 17 pounds of cinnamon into my topping. Don’t do this. You should however mix 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of AP flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of butter, and maybe a tablespoon or two of oatmeal. You’ll come out with a decidedly not so dark mix of goodness that can be sprinkled atop the unbaked muffins before they go into the oven.
I use a silicone muffin pan which is great because in theory the muffins don’t stick to the pan. That’s a lie. So I have to spray it with Pam anyway. That’s awesome because I use the Pam that’s formulated for baking and has flour in it. It smells like cake mix. Unfortunately it bakes onto the silicone like a space age polymer that’s formulated to never be removed. Not so great. You can use a thin film of shortening too, which is what I should do. But I’m lazy. I fill each little hole almost all the way to the top with batter. This recipe makes a dozen muffins filled like 4/5 the way to the top. Liberally sprinkle the tops with the strudel and you’re ready to go. Ever make a recipe and have some empty muffin holes? That can be a problem because that part of the pan gets too hot and the adjacent muffins will burn. Solution? A neat and free trick is to fill those sad empty holes halfway up with water. That keeps that part of the pan cool and you can cook just one muffin if you’re so inclined. Nice!
These muffins bake for 20-25 minutes in an oven preheated to 375 Degree F. They’ll start to get a nice light brown on the top and as with most baked goods a toothpick inserted in the middle will pull away cleanly. They have a nice solid apple taste going on without being to chunky (if you like chunky then by all means cut your apple chunks larger) and the cinnamon and strudel topping goes really with the rest of it. For a dozen muffins you’ll need:
- 2 Cups AP Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup Butter (Room temperature or softened)
- 1/2 cup White Sugar
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Cups Chopped apples
- 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon AP Flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons Oatmeal