The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles. I had my recipe in mind from the second I had seen the challenge published. I wanted to create a healthy breakfast muffin of my own with my favorite ingredients.
The inspiration for these came from my grandma’s apple sauce cake. Growing up in Washington State, we had a back yard full of trees with fresh fruit to use. Apples were used in a lot of our desserts, my favorite being an applesauce cake. Translating it into the muffins was quite easy. At first this may seem to be a slightly difficult or time consuming recipe but trust me when I say this is one of the best muffins I have ever had. It turned out just perfect! Aside from the streusel topping (which is optional, but comes highly recommended from my husband to not omit) this recipe contains no butter or oil and very little sugar. The final result is still a light, moist and quite flavorful muffin that is perfect for that walk to the bus, or quick breakfast before driving to work.
I ended up being short on muffin cups so being my industrious self, I cut out 4″x4″ squares of parchment and pleated them to use as muffin cups. They turned out really cute and I think I will be using them again, since they just look fun. Next time I will add a tutorial, I promise.
Apple Pecan Muffins
Makes 12 Standard Size Muffins
2 Granny Smith Apples, Large
3/4 c Packed Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Water
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 c All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 c Greek Yogurt
1/4 c Low Fat Milk
3/4 c Chopped Pecans
1/4 c Chopped Pecans
1/4 c Brown Sugar
2 tbsp All purpose Flour
2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cold
Prepare your muffin tin by lining with cups or spraying with a non stick spray. Preheat oven to 400°F.
*Peel core, and dice the flesh of one apple into small 1/4″ cubes. Reserve the other apple for later use.
In a small sauce pan add the diced apple, brown sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a smimmer and cover, continue to let simmer for 10 mintues. Remove the two cinnamon sticks. Pour contents of sauce pan into a blender. Optional: Use a stick blender in the pan to puree. Pulse on low speed until puree’s into a fine apple sauce. Pour contents into a large mixing bowl.
With a large spatula or wooden spoon mix vigorously to knock some of the heat out of the apple sauce mixture. Let it cool.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a separate bowl.
Turn your attention back to the apple sauce. Peal the last apple, and grate it into the apple sauce mixture, stir to help knock out some more of the heat.
Continue to mix vigorously, adding in the eggs one at a time. Keep stirring so the eggs don’t cook. Add in the yogurt, milk, and chopped pecans. Mix until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in gently, trying now to over-mix or stir. You want to just get the dry ingredients wet, so it’s ok if you still see some flour streaks. It should take about 15 folds, no more then 20. Pour into the prepared muffin tins.
Optional: To make the struesel. Combine the nuts, brown sugar, flour, and cold butter with your finger tips until crumbly and well combined. Sprinkle on top of the muffins about 1 tbsp of mix per muffin.
Bake for 5 minutes at 400°F. Without opening the oven, turn the heat down to 350°F and bake 15-18 minutes more until lightly golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.