Caramel Apple Muffin

Caramel Apple Muffin Title

I love a good muffin!  They are so easy to throw together and most of the ingredients are usually items that you generally have on hand.  So, when Tamara asked me to be a part of her blogs Muffin Mania, I began thinking of what I could share with the Jem of the South community.  I finally decided to make an apple muffin, but not just any apple muffin a Caramel Apple Muffin!

Caramel Apple Muffin Trio

To be honest, my favorite muffins are those that walk that fine line between breakfast appropriate and dessert worthy.  I personally think that it’s okay every once in a while to start out your day with a little sweet goodness, especially if that sweet goodness is accompanied by a nice cup of coffee!

Caramel Apple Muffin 3

These muffins really do remind me of my favorite caramel apple, specifically the ones that are rolled in some nicely toasted pecans. Even though these muffins walk that fine line, I promise that they are 100% muffin and not a glorified cupcake.  They have a classic muffin texture, are moist because of all the apples and have a lovely spice that pairs perfectly with the apple and caramel.

Caramel Apple Mini Muffin

The muffin itself is not overly sweet and they are just as good without the caramel drizzle (but why deny yourself that pleasure)!   I’ll forewarn you that it will be hard to eat just one, but because they have are made with healthy apples, I think that it might be okay to eat another!

Caramel Apple Muffin Apple 2

Caramel Apple Muffins with Pecans
Makes 12 standard , 8 jumbo and A LOT (about 24) of mini muffinsCaramel Apple Muffin Inside

For Muffins
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie (or apple pie) spice (or you can find lots of recipes online for a homemade version)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1 cup homemade buttermilk (Add 1 tbsp vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup, add evaporated milk to make 1 cup of buttermilk.  Mix and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before using.)
1/2 cup canola
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 cups peeled and coarsely chopped Granny Smith Apples (about 1 1/2 apples)

Pecan Topping
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Caramel Drizzle
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup half and half
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla
pinch of salt

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.

Prepare Muffins

  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, oil vanilla and both the dark and light brown sugar. Mix together until contents are well combined and mixture looks like caramel.
  • Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour your wet ingredients into the dry.  Gently mix until the mixture is just combined, it is okay to still see some flour at this point.
  • Add the apples and gently fold the apples into the mixture.
  • Using a large ice cream scoop, fill each muffin cup almost to the top.

Pecan Topping

  • In a small bowl,  mix together the light and dark brown sugar, pecans, flour, oats.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of melted butter and mix until all the ingredients are moistened and crumbly.
  • Add a heaping tablespoon to the top of the muffin batter.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes for standard, 35 minutes for jumbo and 20 minutes for mini, or until a toothpick come out cleanly.
  • Cool in pan for 5 minutes and remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Caramel Topping

  • In a small saucepan over medium high heat add both brown sugars, butter and half and half, bring to a boil stirring constantly with a whisk.  The mixture will thicken as heats, cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add vanilla extract and pinch of salt during last couple of minutes.
  • Liberally drizzle caramel on the muffins.

ENJOY!

NOTES:

  • Be sure to use a firm and tart apple – this produces the best apple flavor and the apples tend to hold their shape during baking.
  • If your caramel becomes to thick for pouring, you can place the caramel in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to loosen it a bit.
  • Muffins are good the day they are made, but they actually taste even better the next day… especially heated for a few seconds.
  • Muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
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