Tuesday, September 25

Apple "Donut" Muffins...Totally Worth the Effort!

I have a confession.  I...am...a... ... ... Pinterest addict.  There, I've said it, and now I feel better.  In fact, I feel another confession coming on: I...am...also...a huuuuuge...fan of apple cinnamon.  And fall.  And apple cider donuts.  And hot apple cider.  Oh my gosh, I think I've opened up the floodgates!  Save it for the support group, Andrea.  Ahem.  So, because of my Pinterest addiction, I found an intriguing recipe called "Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes" from a website called Feastie (check out the page here).  It was a kind of gloomy, rainy day here in my neck of suburbia, and I had planned on making a pot pie for dinner, but was compelled after my day at work to make these little baked muffins for dessert.  It just seemed fitting.  So while the pie was baking, I whipped up a batch.  The recipe follows at the bottom.

First, I mixed flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl:
Next, I mixed together an egg, brown sugar, apple butter (my mother-in-law's recipe for homemade apple butter with a secret ingredient), vanilla extract, honey, apple cider, plain yogurt, and canola oil.  I know, it looks disgusting:
Once all of the ingredients are whisked together and blended well, pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and whisk to just moisten everything:

Action shot!
Then, drop by teaspoonful into well-greased mini muffin tin, being careful to only fill about halfway or two-thirds full:
Then bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Serve with a delicious dinner:
Allow the muffins to cool a bit.  After they've cooled, roll the sides and top in a sugar/cinnamon mixture:
And then devour:
We go all out by breaking out the fancy paper plates.

I actually ended up with a full 24-mini muffin tin and ten regular-sized muffins.  These were a hit with both me and the hubs.  I was actually thinking as I ate the muffins that this recipe would make a delicious cake!
Our rainy evening
A beautiful sunrise last week.  The only thing I did to this photo was add the copyright at the bottom.
Recipe for Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes, from Pinterest and Feastie.com:
2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2(ish) teaspoons cinnamon (I used heaping teaspoons, and added an extra half teaspoon)
1 large egg
2/3 c lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 C apple butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 C honey
1/3 C apple cider
1/3 C plain yogurt
2 tbsp canola oil
cooking spray
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (this is optional)
1/4 C sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray (I use Baker's Joy or Pillsbury Baking Spray-they have flour in them).  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix together the egg, brown sugar, apple butter, vanilla, honey, apple cider, yogurt and canola oil.  Whisk until well mixed.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and whisk until just moistened.  Be careful to not over-mix.  Drop by teaspoon into the mini muffin tray, filling each about halfway to two-thirds full.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

In a small bowl, mix the 1/4 C sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon together.  Remove the muffins, and brush the tops lightly with the melted butter, then dip the top and coat the sides of the muffins with the cinnamon sugar.  The butter is optional, really--the cinnamon sugar will stick to the muffins on its own.

These are not hard to make--don't let the long list of ingredients scare you.  Chances are, you have most of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge already.  They really are easy, and super-delicious!  Well worth the effort...your family will thank you for the treat!

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