Saturday, November 9, 2013

APPLE CIDER DONUT MUFFINS


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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
Fia's Apple Cider Donut Muffins promised muffins that tasted like donuts.

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
From my cousin Uta's garden I had brought some nice Boskoop apples, and my son likes donuts.

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

6 comments:

  1. What a cute little kitchen ready for mom's baking! Those muffins look lovely.

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    1. Thanks, Karen!
      Contrary to his Mom's kitchen, my son's is remarkably tidy, too! No dumped drills and screwguns on the counter, no assorted food magazines on the chairs...
      I made the muffins yesterday for the 4. time, with pears instead of apples. Very good, too.

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  2. Hello Hanseata , small kitchen , your Apple Cider Donuts Muffins look good and sound delicious and all so cutie.p.s. thank you for stopping by..

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    1. Thanks to you, too. I just made the muffins again, this time with pears, also very nice.

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  3. I just found this by accident -- I'm glad you were inspired by my recipe!

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    1. Indeed I was inspired, Fia! I made them 4 times already, and everybody loved them.
      I left a comment on your blog after I made them for the first time, and apologize for not visiting again and adding a link to my blog later, when I wrote my post.
      Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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