Monday, September 20th, 2010
These muffins have been one of my favorite things to bake since college. My whole-wheat-loving Oregonian roommate (with whom I share many a chai-loving, vegetarian sensibility, despite my Southern roots) and I pretty much ate these things like it was our job. And if you know of any such jobs out there, please do let me know. It’s safe to say we’ll both drop our current career paths and get right on that.
Every year about this time, I get the itch to light cinnamon candles and bake apple everything, and these are always at the top of my list. It’s nice to know that some things never change, I guess. The fact that they’re full of whole wheat flour and apples makes them hearty enough for a pretty decent weekday breakfast. Add a hot cup of chai tea and you’re set, particularly for 2-3 religion and/or sociology classes. At least that’s what Amanda and I always thought.
Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Feel free to use whatever kind of apples you’d like here. Granny Smiths are my favorite, but this time around I used whatever the CSA sent me from Farmer Jimmy (or your equivalent imaginary local farmer). As with many apple recipes, this is also a great use for those less-than-perfect apples – just cut out the bruised or bad spots and you’re good to go. Also, please don’t overbake these! They’ll dry out quickly if you do.
Makes 16 to 18 muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar*
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup plain or vanilla fat-free yogurt
2 large (or 3 small) apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.
Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar, agave nectar 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 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. Keep tightly wrapped for 3 to 4 days.
*If you don’t have or can’t find agave nectar, use a total of 1/2 cup granulated sugar instead. I like to substitute agave for part of the sugar when I can, but you certainly don’t have to.
High-Altitude Notes: Reduce baking powder and soda slightly – use about 3/4 teaspoon each.