It was one of those rainy kind of days that are just perfect for baking – Thursday, I think it was. It’s been the kind of week where the days seem to flow one in to the other without much separation.
I felt that little tug to be in the kitchen, measuring and mixing, but there wasn’t a clear plan in my head at first as to what I would be creating, only that I wanted something substantial and straightforward. After remembering the bushel of Stayman apples waiting to be turned into applesauce sitting on the porch, I knew I was on to something. Apple Crisp? As much as I love crisp, that’s not what I was thinking. Apple Bread? No, we have two loaves of bread, albeit made with butternut squash, already. Apple Oat Muffins? Perfect. Hearty with a side of wholesomeness.
I don’t have a go-to recipe for apple oat muffins, in fact I don’t remember making them before. But I knew what I wanted, and after a little cruising around the internets I found what I was looking for.
Apple-Oat Muffins via Good Housekeeping
- 2 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup (1 to 2 medium) shredded Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped**
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 12 standard muffin-pan cups. In large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
2. In medium bowl, with fork, beat buttermilk, oil, and egg until well blended; stir in shredded apples. Add apple mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until flour mixture is moistened (batter will be very thick and lumpy). Stir in chopped walnuts.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin-pan cups. Bake 23 to 25 minutes or until muffins begin to brown and toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Immediately remove muffins from pan. Serve warm, or cool on wire rack to serve later.
*I never have buttermilk on hand. If you’re like me, you can use a cup of milk soured with a tablespoon or so of lemon juice.
**I chopped up some unsalted roasted mixed nuts – filberts, almonds, cashews, and pecans. I could have omitted the nuts all together but I really wanted that subtle crunch.
They were just what I wanted– though I expected them to be a little sweeter, once I got past the initial “hm, they aren’t sweet” I appreciated every bite. They’re the perfect breakfast muffin, but probably not something you’d want to serve for dessert.
Another reason I decided on muffins and these in particular – the desire to try using squares of parchment paper in place of muffin cups. I’m pleased to say it turned out wonderfully. I cut 12 squares, 6” more or less, and formed them around the bottom of a drinking glass, making sure the creases were nice and sharp and everything laid flat on the inside so the batter doesn’t get in between the folds and stick. The lumpy chunky oatyness (it’s a word now) of these muffins went perfectly with the rustic look of the parchment paper ‘cups,’ methinks.