Sunday, October 30, 2011

Applesauce Muffins - 2 Ways

After my boss received a gift of fresh, locally grown apples, he took them to the break room to share with the staff. I brought home several of these apples with the intention of making muffins to share at work. And of course I had to make enough muffins to include Pritchard Parker.

The first batch I made had golden raisins and pecans, with a drizzle of confectioner's sugar glaze. I thought they were very pretty, but when Pritchard Parker tasted one he said, "That's different".  Now I have to say that Pritchard Parker had gotten home from work very late and was quite tired when he said that. He was not really in a place to offer a fair critique and I didn't pursue it.

Different? Just to be safe, I decided to go with another recipe for the next batch. This time I skipped the raisins and used brown sugar and toasted walnuts with  a sugary crunch for topping.

Both recipes begin by making applesauce.

Applesauce Raisin Muffins
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices. In another bowl, stir together the egg, milk, vegetable oil, and the applesauce and mix well. Stir the dry mixture into the wet until just combined. Stir in the raisins and nuts.

Spoon into greased muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Let them cool slightly then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, top with a glaze made of 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and 1-2 Tbsp. milk or cream.  Add an additional sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.

Applesauce Spice Muffins
(Gourmet Magazine, November 2003)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp. Turbinado (or regular granulated) sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and brown sugar in a large bowl until combined well, then add butter, a little at a time, whisking until mixture is creamy. Stir in applesauce, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened. Stir in nuts and divide batter among greased muffin cups.

Stir together the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the muffins. Bake at 400 degrees until muffins are puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then remove muffins from pan and cool completely.

These are the muffins I took to work.

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