Monday, November 8, 2010

Carmel Apple Muffins

Fall is upon us and it's time for delicious Fall baking! My sister gave me a most fantastic cooking magazine a couple of weeks ago, Taste of Home's "Fall Baking" and I probably bookmarked over half the recipes because they all look so fantastic. I'm going to have to do a lot of baking in the next couple of months to hit them all.

I started with these muffins because, one, I had everything on hand for them, and two, they looked simple. Muffins tend to be no fuss and low maintenance... I wanted to start with something that had a high probability of working.

These were delicious! Simple, moist, no fuss and the little bites of gooey caramel made these muffins extra special. They'd be perfect as a side for dinner, after dinner treat, brunch treat, or midnight snack... not that I tried all of those options...

Recipe Source: Taste of Home's "Fall Baking" Magazine
Servings: approximately 14 muffins

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped, peeled tart apple (I used one large Granny Smith apple... it was more than 1/2 cup, but I wanted more apple chunks)
12 caramels, chopped into large pieces (I simply cut mine into quarters)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. 

2.  In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, butter, and vanilla.  Stir into the dry ingredients, just until moistened.  Do not over mix!  Remember, you'll still be stirring it a bit to incorporate the apples and caramels.

3.  Fold in the apples and caramels.

4.  Fill paper lined or greased muffin cups three-fourths full.

5.  Combine the topping ingredients;  sprinkle over batter in muffin tins.  (This stuff tends to caramelize during the baking process, making it super yummy... but also super messy to clean up.  Try not to let too much spill all over your muffin tin.)

6.  Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

7.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.  Serve warm, so your caramel inside is still nice and gooey!