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apple muffins

i’ve got something to admit: i’m not a big fan of muffins. i think the concept is great, but in execution, i’ve just been let down too many times by ones that are bland, dry and overwhelmingly huge (with the exception of my mom’s blueberry muffins – those are amazing). these particular ones right here, however, have brought me a new kind of joy and encouraged me to accept muffins back into my life without question.

the girl and i have been meaning to go apple picking all fall and we finally made it out to the countryside this past weekend. we ended up at rock hill orchard [1], a small farm in mount airy, MD. luckily, they still had plenty of apples to go around, as well as a big pumpkin patch.

we picked about 15 lbs of apples and the girl grabbed a pumpkin that we made into soup that night. it’s a great little farm with amazing hot apple cider (free samples!). this was the first time i had ever picked apples from a tree, and it’s incredible to actually see where your food comes from. it makes you want to only grow your own crops and never visit a supermarket again.

it’s a good thing we got so many apples because i plan on making a batch of these every weekend. they are that good. they will keep for a few days (i just kept them on a plate covered with plastic wrap), but will probably disappear sooner. i found myself eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and as snacks) in a psychological game that played out with my taste buds asking my brain after each muffin, “why not have another? they’re so light and moist…and delicious…and yep, here we go, we’re eating another, oh god they are so good, why did we even bother asking you in the first place, brain?” my brain is clearly powerless in this situation.

apple muffins
makes 12 muffins. from King Arthur Flour recipes [2].

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (i used honey crisp, great this time of year)

1. in a small bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. in a large bowl, cream the butter, the white sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. add the egg and beat until fluffy.

2. mix in the buttermilk gently (don’t overmix or the buttermilk will curdle). stir in the flour mixture gently and fold in the apples.

3. pour the batter into 12 muffin cup liners, sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar and bake at 450 F for 10 minutes. after 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 400 F and bake for another 15-20 minutes. allow the muffins to cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.