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spiced applesauce crumb muffins

December 21, 2010

Yep, it’s time for another muffin recipe! I found this recipe while I was browsing Blue-Eyed Bakers’ site. Their description seemed to imply that the muffins were meant as a dessert recipe. SOLD. My next few weeks’ of breakfast were planned!

(Also, I still had about three sleeves of individual cups of applesauce that Chris and I had bought for our road trip last summer to use up. We may or may not have bought way too much food for that trip, considering that we mostly subsisted off plain pasta because we were too lazy to break out a grill.)

Like the applesauce spice cake, this came together fairly easily and was wayyyy spicy/tongue-burning when I tried the batter. But also like the cake, the batter mellowed out into more warm than burning in the oven. The muffins are a bit more intense and dense than the cake, though—almost gingerbread-y—which I guess is more appropriate for muffins.

And they were, indeed, pretty tasty. (Although their lack of chocolate disqualified them as a dessert…) For some reason, I’ve been failing at crumb toppings lately—they tend to melt into the muffin and form a kind of crust, rather than remaining crumbly, despite all my efforts to keep the topping cold and whatnot before I top them. But I survived, and I actually kind of liked the crunchy tops that resulted.

Plus, when I stuck one of these in the toaster each morning, they made the whole house smell like Christmas. Mmmmm.

Spiced Applesauce Crumb Muffins
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed [I used dark brown, and I think it paired nicely with the intensity of the spices]
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup chunky applesauce [I have no idea what chunky applesauce is, or where you would buy it, or if I would even want to buy it if I found it…but I just used Mott’s and it didn’t seem to make too much of a difference]
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts [I left these out, which might explain my topping-fail. The things I go through for my nut phobia.]

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. To make the topping, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl. Using your fingers, break up the butter and blend with sugar and flour until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in nuts. Set aside [preferably in the fridge].
3. To make the muffins, sift flour together with cloves, allspice, and cinnamon. Set aside.
4. In a bowl or an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and blend until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients.
5. In a separate bowl, mix applesauce and baking soda together. Add to muffin mixture until just barely combined (the batter will be slightly chunky). Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and top with crumb topping. Bake until puffed and golden, 15-18 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Source: Blue-Eyed Bakers

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