We like out local newspaper, the "Bangor Daily News", because of its well written reports and excellent photos. It, also, often publishes interesting recipes, I made quite a few of them, and most turned out very nice.
Just before I went on my fall trip to Hamburg, I saw a muffin recipe that really piqued my curiosity.
I was looking for recipes with apples, because I still had a whole bag full of tiny apples gathered from abandoned orchards at the roadside. After making two apple pies, I felt I needed a bit of change.
|First trial: good, but still a bit too sweet for my taste|
I like donuts, (if they are not doughy, overly sweet mass products à la Dunkin), but I had never heard about a donut-muffin-hybrid.
My first trial, with half the recipe amount - I didn't want to feed armies, after all - turned out pretty good, but needed a bit of tweaking.
Though I had reduced the sugar, we found the muffins still too sweet. And the fruity aroma of the apples was overpowered by nutmeg, even though I had halved the amount here, too.
The consistency resembled donuts, and the crumb was nice and moist. But, nevertheless, I thought the muffins could do with a little more apple.
When I'm on the phone with my son in Hamburg, I always gush about my baking. This time, I promised, I would bake something for him, in his own kitchen, during my visit.
|Apple pieces for an extra moist muffin crumb|
So what was more appropriate than making Donut Muffins?
With a whole large apple, even less sugar, and only a pinch of nutmeg, the muffins turned out so good, that Per and his girlfriend munched them down in no time.
The original recipe contains cider, but I baked some with hard cider, too. Instead of all white flour, I substituted some with whole wheat pastry flour.
The original recipe suggests dipping the muffins first in cider, than in cinnamon sugar. I found that sprinkling the sugar works better.
APPLE CIDER DONUT MUFFINS (10 pieces)
125 g tart apples, peeled, cored and finely cubed (about 1 1/4 large apple, like Booskop, Granny Smith or Pink Lady)
1/2 cup/120 ml cider (or hard cider)
57 g butter, softened (1/2 stick)
45 g white sugar
35 g brown sugar
1 ½ eggs *)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup/60 ml milk
130 g all-purpose flour
35 g whole wheat pastry flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cloves
cider for dipping (about 1/4 cup)
cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling
*) To halve an egg, place a cup on a scale, break the egg in the cup, and measure the weight. Then beat the egg lightly, and take half of it for the batter.
Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Grease 10 cups of a muffin pan.
In a small sauce pan, bring apple cubes and cider to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, until apple pieces are soft, but not completely disintegrated.
|Whisk dry ingredients until well aerated|
In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices, until well combined and aerated.
|Mix wet ingredients separately|
In a mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugars, until fluffy. Add eggs, and beat, until well combined. Mix in oil, vanilla and milk, until well blended.
|Dry and wet ingredients are briefly mixed|
Add flour mixture in 2 portions. Mix only, until all just comes together. Then fold in the cooked apples with the juices.
|At last fold in apple pieces with the juices|
Distribute batter evenly over the 10 muffin cups. Bake muffins for 15 minutes, until they are lightly browned, an needle comes out clean, and the tops feel elastic if you press them lightly with your finger.
|The batter fills the cups to 3/4|
Let muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan. In the meantime, place cider and cinnamon sugar in two cups or small bowls.
|First dip muffins in cider, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar|
Remove muffins from the pan, and place them on a wire rack (set it over a baking sheet or large piece of paper for easier clean-up!) First dip each muffin top quickly into the cider, and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
|Per's little kitchen was well equipped for Mom's baking|