Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

   Whole wheat apple muffins - they look unassuming, but they taste so good...

Whole wheat apple muffins - they look unassuming, but they taste so good...

I think I may have mentioned recently how much I love fall.  Well, fall and baking go together like you wouldn’t believe!  Ever since the air started getting crisper, I’ve  been baking every weekend and an alarming number of weekdays.  As a rule, I don’t love baking as much as I love cooking, mostly because I’m terrifically lazy.  Baking requires precision measurements and exact times.  I prefer throwing things together and letting them stew for hours.  But it’s fall and my kitchen is cold so I need a hot oven and warm spices to keep me toasty!

 

   Coarsely chopped apples

Coarsely chopped apples

These apple muffins, heavily adapted from Smitten Kitchen, are a wonder.  Low in fat and sugar, they still manage to feel like a treat.  Since a third of the sugar is sprinkled on top of the muffins, they also taste more sweet than you’d expect.  Though you can make them with any old apple, try using a tart baking apple like Granny Smith.  The apple is such a dominant flavor and texture that the tartness really sings in the finished product.

 

Go forth and bake my friends.  But don’t feel guilty about it - these are healthy!

   Muffins, prebaking - the sugar ends up tasting almost like molasses around the edges

Muffins, prebaking - the sugar ends up tasting almost like molasses around the edges

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

INGREDIENTS

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 tb cinnamon

4 tb melted butter

4 tb applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup brown sugar + ¼ cup brown sugar (divided)

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

2 large peeled apples, cored and coarsely chopped (tart apples are best)

 

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Grease and flour muffin cups, or line 18 muffin cups.  Whisk together the flours, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon.  In a separate large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, ½ cup sugar, vanilla, applesauce and the egg.  Mix in the buttermilk, then add the flour mixture.  Fold in the apple chunks - it will be very appley!

 

Scoop about ¼ cup of the batter into each cup - you should end up with 18 muffins.  Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of brown sugar evenly over the muffins.  Bake for 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 400 degrees, rotate the pans, and bake for another 5-10 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean).  Cool for a few minutes in the pan, then finish cooling on a wire rack.