Is this food porn or what? Sweet Charlotte these were so moist, so delicate and so darn tasty.
These apple muffins came about from a recent trip to a local farmers market where I got my first (of the season) homemade batch of apple cider. I don't know about you, but I'm a huge apple cider lover. I love that cold, crisp taste of it. This batch was organic too. There are some things that do taste better organic and some other things I can't even tell the difference. But I did notice a more "apple-ly" flavor in the organic cider. And yeah, it was far more expensive. Well, with this cider I got the craving for apples. I was going to make an apple & cheddar scone, but was already bored with that, since I make them every Fall. Apple muffins came to mind, but of course you know me and how I love to kick things up a few notches, I decided why not add some cheese and pecans to chunky apple muffins? I hope there are a few of you die hard New Englanders out there that love homemade apple pies with some sharp cheddar? I know the Canadians love this too as I have a lot of relatives in Canada who wouldn't have it any other way. Adding the cheese to the muffins gave it a bit of flavor, it was worth it. The pecans, well, you all know I can never get enough pecans; you could also use walnuts in here. But the real winner, the real deal closer for these apple muffins was the apple cider glaze frosting. Really good. The apple cider glaze came from that organic apple cider I purchased mixed with some cream cheese and confectioners sugar. The cream cheese and the apple cider mesh so perfectly together; reminds me of a good pairing of wine & cheese. It has a tart bite to it with a creamy cheese undertone all wrapped up in sugar. In my opinion, use McCoun apples if you can, they are the best for baking. What do you like making with apples?
apple, pecan & cheddar muffins w/ apple cider & cream cheese glaze
by dawn finicane
3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ts baking soda
1 ts baking powder
1/2 ts nutmeg
½ ts allspice
½ ts cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
4 TB buttermilk
½ cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 medium McCoun apples: peeled, cored and cut into 3/4 -inch chunks
Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter 12 regular-size muffin cups. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and salt.
In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Beat in the egg and buttermilk. Stir in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Recipe by dawn finicane of vanillakitchen.blogspot.com Fold in the apples, pecans, and cheddar cheese.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 30 - 40 minutes (depending on oven temp and muffin pans) or until the apples are tender and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. (while these are baking I like to get my cider glaze done and into the fridge to chill for a while).
Let muffins cool before glazing.
Apple Cider Cream Cheese Glaze
1/2 package cream cheese, softened
1 package of confectioners' sugar
½ ts cinnamon
3 TB apple cider (not apple juice)
I melted the cider and cream cheese over very low heat, very slowly while constantly stirring. There will be lumps. When it was cooled a bit I added in the cinnamon. In a separate bowl put the confectioner’s sugar in there and slowly add the melted cider mix to the confectioners sugar. Don’t add all the liquid in, only add in a bit at a time until you reach the glaze thickness you desire. (I only used about ¾ of the liquid mixture, use less for a frosting). Keep mixing till fully incorporated and there are no lumps.
Make sure to chill this in the fridge for a while before using.
Cook Notes: I only like to use McCoun apples for baking. I know they are in season for a couple months (oct & nov). I have no idea what else to use instead of these. Whatever apple is sweet, juicy, crispy with a little bit of tart to it would be good. I do not recommend Granny Smith apples for this recipe.
If you want to use muffin liners you can. These are very moist muffins, almost delicate.