Happy New Year! It’s okay to still be saying that, right? It’s like saying “good morning” at 11:45 AM! I feel like posting one’s first blog post of the year in late January is sort of like the equivalent of being the last person in your neighborhood to take down your Christmas decorations! Oh well, better late than never, am I right? (By the way, one year I actually took down decorations on St. Patrick’s Day!)
We finally are settling into the new condo, which is 5 miles north of the apartment that we’ve been renting for the past 7 seven years. We still have a month to move out of the old place, so it’s a bit weird to have two addresses, but for the most part, it feels really good to be out of the old place. The new condo is slightly more spacious and has more privacy! I felt like the neighbors were always peering into our unit at the old place because it was right next to the entrance to the building.
I wanted to start out simple this year. Looking back at the two previous years, I was surprised that I blogged a little more than once a week! I’m sorry to say that I don’t think this year will be the same, but we shall see. I now understand how other food bloggers sometimes say that life got in the way of their blogging.
These muffins are based on a breakfast muffin recipe from the book The Art and Soul of Baking, by Sur La Table and baking teacher Cindy Mushety, and pretty much my go-to recipe for muffins that I adapt slightly to fit my preferences. For apple muffins, it’s a good idea to sauté the apples just a little to get rid of the moisture and also add more spices and flavor to it. Enjoy!
2 large honeycrisp apples, medium diced
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom, optional
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup sour cream with a Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line or grease a 12-count muffin tin and set aside.
Peel, core, and dice two large honeycrisp apples and place in a large saucepan with the 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Heat on medium for several minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly soft. Remove from heat and divide into 12 equal portions, several cubes per portion to ensure each muffin has sufficient apple cubes. Set aside.
Add the flour, the 1/2 cup of brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and stir with a whisk to thoroughly combine.
In another bowl, add the 3 ounces melted butter with the oil, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, eggs, and vanilla extract and stir with a whisk until smooth and consistent.
Add sour cream mixture to the flour ingredients and stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix, small dry streaks and clumps are okay as long as not too large.
Divide equally between the 12 muffin tins, then top with the apple slices, pressing a few into the middle of each muffin tin, but not to the bottom.
Bake for about 22-24 minutes until lightly golden brown on edges and tops. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Serve warm or when cooled completely.