Have I mentioned that I don’t like fruit in my baked goods? I’m pretty sure I have. This blog is noticeably devoid of blueberry muffins, peach crumbles, and apple pies, and that’s because I have no interest in such things. No compotes to be found here either. So despite our recent trip to the apple orchard during our trip to Pennsylvania, and the abundance of apples we came home with, I didn’t use even one of them in this recipe. (I did eat a bunch of them, though.)
Fortunately, apple orchards usually have cute little stores attached, and within those cute little stores you can find all kinds of interesting treats and ingredients to work with. You can also find some really freaky-looking gourds.
Once you’ve made it past the gourds, you can find the good stuff: apple butter, apple cider, and interesting apple-themed spices. Lucky me, I found just the right recipe to use them all in.
I confess I was a little worried when I first took them out of the oven.
They looked good, but smelled almost TOO apple-y, and while some people like that sort of thing, I think we’ve very clearly established that I do not. So I let them sit, and I encouraged someone else to try one. Heartened by a positive review, I had one for breakfast the next morning.
And then I had one for a snack in the afternoon.
And then I had one for a treat after dinner.
They’re wonderful! Lightly spiced, definitely tasting more of cider than pure apple, and perfectly sweetened. Another winner. Hooray for fall!
Recipe is below, as always, but here are a few shots from Cherry Hill Orchards, where we got our apples, as well as the spices and the apple butter. (I cheated: I bought the apple cider once we were back home.)
CINNAMON APPLE CIDER MUFFINS
(adapted from Stay At Home Susie)
1 1/3 cups whole wheat white flour
2/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons caramel apple spice blend (or apple pie spice, or any combination of spices you like)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg
2/3 cup (scant) brown sugar (I used sucanat)
1/2 cup apple butter
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
1/3 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
cinnamon-sugar, for sprinkling
Heat oven to 425 degrees, you will reduce the temperature later. Spray/grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper or silicone cups.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, apple butter, yogurt, apple cider, oil, and vanilla until smooth.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and stir just until incorporated. Don’t worry if the batter is lumpy, as long as the ingredients are mixed.
Scoop the batter into muffin tins. If desired, sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top.
Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 400 degrees and bake for another 10-5. (Mine were done in 10.)
Let cool in the pan for 5 more minutes, then move to a wire rack.