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An Apple Muffin A Day

Tomorrow is my son's turn to provide snack, which we all know means that it is MY turn to provide snack. Last month I made tatziki and brought that in with pita so this month I wanted to bake something. I like to keep them guessing and messing with their little heads by switching it up drastically. I don't want to be that mom who "always brings in cheese and crackers". I knew that I wanted to make something apple. Apple oatmeal was my original thought but then I stumbled upon this recipe for whole wheat apple muffins at smitten kitchen and decided on making these instead:

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
These dark, crazy moist muffins will keep well for several days, and the brown sugar on top, should you not skimp on it like I did, adds a crunchy touch, perfect for those of you who know that the lid is the best part.
Yield: They said 12, I got 18
1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.
Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

I added about 1 tsp of vanilla to the batter, I used 1 large apple, chopped pretty finely and instead of using a second apple, I used a handful of chopped up dried apple (Little Shack did his science fair project on dehydration last spring and I am still trying to use up the last of his experiments). I think that I chopped the apple up much smaller than the original recipe called for and I might even grate the apple the next time. I don't think kids love big chunks of fruit in their food. Also, I didn't have buttermilk and the only yogurt I have is strawberry flavoured, so I just whole milk. Next time I will use buttermilk to see if there is a huge difference.

I also added all the sugar right into the batter (this also forced me to splash a bit more milk in and even so the batter was much thicker than I am used to). They baked for 10 minutes at 450F and then I turned the oven down to 400F and baked them for 7 minutes more and they were perfect.

 I didn't want to add the brown sugar topping because, frankly, they are for the kid's class for snack tomorrow and they are supposed to be reasonably healthy so I like to keep that illusion alive. A delicious, crispy brown sugar crunch topping doesn't really scream "healthy, wholesome mid morning snack" so even though they would be much more delicious with the brown sugar on top, the kids will have to suffer without.

I made the second batch WITH the brown sugar crust and seeing that I had also added the full amount of sugar into the muffins, I was afraid that it was going to make them way too sweet but they were delectable and not overly sweet at all.
The final test doesn't come until he comes home from school tomorrow and I will either get the big thumbs up or not but to be honest, I am not anticipating any complaints.

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