First, I have to tell you that these muffins freeze well. I know that because the only way my husband Ted and I could stop eating them was to hide them way in the back of the freezer, out of sight and buried too deeply for an easy grab. I have a soft spot for baked apples and the aroma that permeates the house when I have anything apple in the oven. Even more, I love muffins that can be baked ahead and frozen.
We first served these spice muffins for Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, as a perfect bite of sweetness on the dinner buffet table, and again for breakfast the following morning. They would be lovely for afternoon tea, or on the brunch menu, too. If you keep powdered buttermilk in your refrigerator, you can substitute that for fresh buttermilk; buy an apple or two, and pull all of the remaining ingredients from your pantry shelves. The batter comes together quickly, and in less than an hour from start to finish, you can fill your house with the perfume of baking apples. If you have more willpower than we do, the muffins will last for two days in an airtight container on your kitchen counter.
Apple raisin walnut spice muffins
From the pantry, you'll need: all-purpose unbleached flour, baking soda, kosher salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, whole wheat flour, butter, light brown sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, chopped walnuts, raisins.
Makes 12 large muffins.
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup butter (1 stick, at room temperature)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup finely diced tart apples
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins (I use golden raisins)
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves. Stir with a whisk to aerate the mixture.
In the bowl of a Kitchenaid-type stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fully combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix for 1 minute.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together the apples, walnuts and raisins.
Then, with the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk, and 1/2 of the fruit. Repeat until all ingredients are incorporated.
Use a disher (an ice cream scoop with a release) or a spoon to fill the muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm, or let cool completely and store in a container with an airtight lid for a day, or freeze.
More muffins for brunch or tea time:
Pumpkin-pecan mini muffins, from The Perfect Pantry
Irish soda bread muffins, from The Perfect Pantry
Cinnamon coffee cake muffins, from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Apple cider muffins, from Lottie + Doof
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