Monday, March 7, 2011
Apple Walnut Muffins
Shannon was in charge of the recipe this week and she chose Dena's Great Apple Walnut Muffins from the Bakewise book. This was a much faster recipe to go together than last week which is a good thing and it used all ingredients that I already had in my pantry which was another plus. I hate it when I go to put something together and have to run to the store because I need some weird ingredient that I missed when I read through the recipe initially. Ok, I take that back, my oranges were scary so I skipped the orange zest but on a normal day I would have had one in the house.
I thought that the muffins turned out great. I liked how the whipped cream fluffed up the batter and made the whole muffin lighter in texture. I think that next time I will stir a bit more before I add the cream to develop a bit more gluten as the end result didn't hold together as well as I thought it should. You couldn't have taken these in the car on the way to work because they would be too messy. A little more gluten would help them hold together better as you eat them. I LOVED the big chunks of apples. I was a little leary of them when I realized how many were going to be in each muffin but they were the best part of the whole thing. I can totally see making this recipe with more toffee and chopped peanuts and calling it a Toffee Apple Muffin....but that's a post for another day.
Here's the recipe as written. I did sub pecans for the walnuts (I bet that surprises no one. )
Dena's Great Apple Walnut Muffins
1 1/2 c. walnut pieces
3/4 tsp salt divided
1 Tbs butter
2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 c. sugar, divided
2/3 c. English toffee bits
2 large eggs
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 cups peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped Fuji apples
nonstick cooking spray
1. Arrange shelf in lower third of oven, place baking stone on it, and preheat the oven to 350.
2. Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet, place in the oven on the stone, and roast for 10 minutes. While nuts are hot, stir in the butter and 1/4 tsp of the salt. When cool, coarsely chop and set aside.
3. Turn oven up to 425.
4. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the flour, baking powder, the remaining 1/2 tsp salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2/3 c sugar for 30 seconds to blend well. Stir in the toffee bits by hand.
5. In a medium mixing bowl, stir the eggs with a fork, then stir in the oil, buttermilk, vanilla and orange zest.
6. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir together by hand. (this is where I would stir more)
7. In a cold bowl with cold beaters, whip the cream until soft peaks form when the beater is lifted. Beat just a little beyond this stage. Stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the batter to lighten. Then fold the rest of the whipped cream into the batter.
8. Fold apples and roasted, chopped walnuts into the batter.
9. Spray your muffin pans with nonstick spray (like a lot; the sugar on the tops will make them stick to the top of the pan)
10. Fill the muffin cups almost full. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup sugar on top of the muffins. Turn the oven down to 400 and leave the oven door open for about 10 seconds. Place the muffin tin in the oven on the hot stone and close the door. Bake until muffins are well risen and lightly browned, 15-20 minutes.
11. Cool muffins in the pan for about 5 minutes. Jar the edge of the pan on the counter to loosen and carefully transfer them to a cooling rack.