A couple weekends ago, I decided to try baking some lemon muffins. From a box mix. And it was a disaster. Despite coating the pan with cooking spray, the muffins all stuck and had to be scraped out into a crumbly mess. It was such a disappointment and also the perfect example of what kind of baker I am. A horrible one. As I mentioned yesterday, I love to cook, but a pastry chef I am not.
I really envy those of you who are bakers. We have some fantastically talented women in CEiMB that baked up breads, tarts, souffles, and anything else you could think of. It all looks so delicious, but I always have to enjoy it from afar because I don’t dare tackle some of the recipes these ladies whip up with ease. Well, this week is my turn to participate along with them as we all bake these Apple-Pecan Muffins chosen by our host of the week Joanne of Apple Crumbles. Joanne is a faithful CEiMBista; I don’t think I’ve seen her ever miss a week posting! I find this particularly inspiring since she has to vegetarianize all the recipes, yet every week she makes it work. I love seeing what she makes, and reading about both her meals and racing triumphs is so inspirational.
But back to the muffins. I was starting to get worried because I was missing two ingredients: baking soda and buttermilk. After a little internet research, I learned that using 2 teaspoons of baking powder in place of 1 teaspoon baking soda should work out OK. And then I decided to just use regular milk instead of buttermilk. Oh well. I have to say, these turned out great! They are so incredibly moist, and I just love the crunchy sugar/pecan topping. I was so impressed with my baking abilities that I just might try it again next week! :D The only recipe note I have is that even though I halved this recipe, I still ended up with 9 rather large muffins, so keep that in mind when deciding how much to make!
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn starch + 7/8 cup whole wheat flour (or 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup fat free milk
1 medium Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, and diced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray or foil muffin liners.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the pecans and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.
Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove muffins from pan, and cool completely on the rack.