Happy Apple Season! I cannot believe that it is already December! Despite living during these very trying times, I am excited for the holidays. I am committed to embrace the spirit of Christmas, be in a festive mood and enjoy simple joys.
Although I cannot keep many of my holiday traditions this year, I am slightly ahead in my game. So far I was able to deliver Advent Calendars, Elf mugs and holiday treats to my nephews before December 1st as well as Christmas decorations for my sister’s new house.
I also already watched 4 holidays movies! Whaaat?! LOL! I used to take a day off from work in December just to dedicate a day to decorating the tree, watching sappy holiday movies on Netflix, bake, drink hot cocoa and do all things holiday in one day.
Speaking of, although I have not finished trimming my tree yet, it is up and lit up! I also already finished reading four holiday books and it is only the 3rd of December! I am also comfortably ahead in my Christmas (online) shopping.
I hope to enjoy every single day in December by finding little joys in the delicious scents of spices, freshly baked muffins, a mug of hot chocolate, the cozy feel of fluffy blankets, warmth of fire in the fireplace on a very cold quiet December afternoon perfect for reading a good book.
These are just items of my holiday list for now because life is busy despite the pandemic. I can at least say that I can check “freshly-baked muffins” off the list. I read a novella that included a recipe for Apple Cinnamon Muffins. I am such a sucker for books with recipes. I tried the recipe and my team mates at work raved about the muffins. I was not so impressed though. I told them I can do better. I baked another batch using my Bomb Diggity Blueberry Muffins recipe but I substituted chopped apples tossed in cinnamon and nutmeg for blueberries. These muffins were super-moist and delicious! And the house smelled amazing of cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg! They were like baked potpourri which inspired me to give my muffins a fun name.
POTPOURRI CINNAMON APPLE MUFFINS
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup neutral oil such as canola, vegetable or sunflower oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups peeled and coarsely chopped apples (about 2-3 apples)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- For toppings: 1/4 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Peel, core and coarsely chop 2-3 apples (about 2 cups).
- Toss chopped apples in 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
- In another bowl, mix together oil, egg, vanilla extract and buttermilk.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be thick.
- Add the chopped apples tossed in spices.
- Using an ice cream scooper or tablespoon, fill muffin tin about 3/4 each cup.
- Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar mixed and 1 tsp cinnamon for toppings.
- Sprinkle brown sugar-cinnamon on top of the muffins.
- Bake muffins 18 -20 minutes or toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
- Transfer to cooling rack
- This recipe makes a dozen regular size muffins.
- Use a fine mesh colander when sprinkling brown sugar/cinnamon mixture to distribute the topping evenly. (The first time I baked the muffins, I ended up with muffins with tops that appeared burnt because of the cinnamon and sugar when I just used my fingers to sprinkle the spices instead of colander. They were really not. They just looked ugly but really tasted delicious. Ha! Ha!)