Apple Cinnamon Muffins


It's November already (how did that happen?!) which means that I need to fill the blog with as many Fall (pumpkin, apple, and Thanksgiving!) recipes as possible before December comes around. Between the trip to Milan and my dad's visit I've been too busy to post much of what I've been making, so let me try and do a little catch up with this recipe for Apple Cinnamon Muffins.

As it so happens, muffins here in Italy tend to almost always be a disappointment. While Italians get an A+ on their cornetti, they would probably get a C+ (if I'm being generous) on their muffins. The muffins sold at the cafes here are usually dry, flavorless, and on the chewy side, just barely reminiscent of how a real muffin should be. I can guarantee however that unlike muffins found in Rome, these muffins will not disappoint you in the least, as they are, as far as muffins go in my book, pretty much perfect. The yogurt and apples keep them moist, they taste even better the next day (once the cinnamon has had a chance to sink in) and the brown sugar on the top gives them a nice crunch that contrasts nicely with the fluffy interior. In short, these muffins are everything you could ever want in a breakfast (especially on a cold Fall morning) and you should make them as soon as you can (another great way to use up all your Fall apples!)

A couple of things -- the original recipe calls 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour. I have used all all-purpose flour (whole wheat flour is hard to come by in my supermarket) with good results, but I imagine the whole wheat flour version would be yummy too. Since I can't find buttermilk here, I used plain whole milk yogurt which is always a great substitute. Lastly, I used red (Macintosh) apples, but any variety you want to use would work here. Enjoy!

APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 12 muffin cups and set aside.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.Mix in the buttermilk or yogurt gently. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from www.smittenkitchen.com.






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