Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Yes, I realize that it's now officially spring. And yes, I realize that I'm supposed to be breaking out the berries and various other fresh produce. But this morning, I wanted muffins, and we happened to have none of said produce. What we did have was a can of pumpkin left over from the fall, and an apple. I went online and searched for a while. And yes, I mean a while - as in, I could have gotten dressed and gone to the grocery store for some blueberries a while. I finally found a recipe I liked on Smitten Kitchen (I love that blog, go look at it). I got my dad peeling an apple and got to work on the batter. I made a few little changes like adding vanilla and apples, and within 15 minutes we had muffins in the oven.

These are so much better than I expected from such a simple recipe. They are super fluffy and perfectly sweet. This is one of those recipes that allows you to say you're eating breakfast, when really you feel like you're tasting a delicious pumpkin cake. Hey, these would be great with cream cheese frosting. I've got to get on that...
These are great for a quick breakfast or brunch on a weekend, so bookmark it for this fall. Or, if you happen to be like me, make them now and pretend it's cold out. Except for it actually is... wait is it really spring??

Apple Pumpkin Muffins
(slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15 ounce can)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Put oven in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put liners in muffin cups.
Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, 1 cup of the sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour and baking powder until just combined. Stir in apple pieces.
Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another bowl.
Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be about three-fourths full), then sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool in pan on a rack five minutes, then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool to warm or room temperature.
Makes 12.

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