Apple Cinnamon Nut Muffins

6/02/2012 01:39:00 PM

It's been a while since my last muffin-baking bonanza, two years in fact!

These fabulous muffins were inspired by the fact that I had four kilos of Chobani yogurt, as well as some apples and random half-bags of nuts that needed using up, and that I, well, wanted muffins! Remembering that my last batch of apple muffins weren't the greatest, I decided to look for a new recipe. The Donna Hay apple muffin recipe I used last time came out tough, as I couldn't get the thick sour cream to combine evenly with the remaining ingredients without overworking the dough. Boo!

This time, after much Googling, I used this recipe for the batter, omitting the dried fruit, and adding apples and chopped nuts.  (Just like Nigella's apple and cinnamon muffins from Kitchen.)  The recipe was created by the Stork margarine company (!), and I made some serious adaptations to their batter too - replacing their margarine with butter, obviously, and switching up the method to suit me. I also added much more detailed instructions.

Although most muffin recipes say to stir through your chunks and add-ins at the end, I like to add them to the dry ingredients at the start.  I've found that this helps them mix them through evenly whilst minimising the amount of stirring you'll need.  (And as we all know, overstirring makes tough muffins!)

Apple chunks, SR flour, baking powder, cinnamon, chopped nuts

Melted BUTTER, brown sugar

Yoghurt, milk &eggs being added to the dry ingredients

Lumpy mixture
I topped these muffins with chopped nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar.  You'll see that I only had enough mixture to top nine of my muffins - I increased the amount of nuts in my recipe below, so you should be right.

Top: Raw
Bottom: Baked
And here they are!

I also finally got to use these fabulous little muffin papers!  I bought them at a 100-Yen shop in Japan four years ago, and only just remembered to whip them out today!  They were pretty stiff (heh), as was the batter, so they were able to hold their shape whilst baking.  (Unlike the last, messy, time I used a paper baking case, oops!)

I also liked that these Japanese muffin papers have a little seam on them so that you can rip them open neatly...

...ooh!  A nude muffin!  Pretty!
Naked muffin

These muffins are super-light and tender thanks to the acidity from the yoghurt, with an addictive crunch from the sugary-nutty topping.  I used a combo of hazelnuts and pecans, as they were what I had in my pantry, but any nut that can provide a crunchy contrast would work well: almonds or walnuts would be particularly good.

Apple Cinnamon Nut Muffins
Very loosely based on this recipe and Nigella's Apple and Cinnamon Muffins (Kitchen)

350g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
85g soft brown sugar, plus 4 teaspoons extra
85g butter
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 eggs
150ml Greek-style yogurt (I used Chobani 2%)
150ml milk
100g nuts, roughly chopped (I used pecans and hazelnuts)

Preheat the oven to 180C, and line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin papers.
Melt the butter and let cool a little.  Stir in the 85g brown sugar and set aside.
Measure the yogurt and milk into a measuring jug, add the eggs and whisk to combine.  Set aside.
Sift the self-raising flour, baking powder and 1 tsp cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.  Add the apples and half the nuts, and stir so the chunks are distributed evenly through the flour.  Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter/sugar mixture, followed by the yoghurt/milk/egg mixture.  Stir gently until just combined, remembering that little lumps and flour pockets are desirable and will result in a light muffin.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin.  Mix the remaining chopped nuts with the remaining 1 tsp cinnamon and 4 teaspoons brown sugar.  Sprinkle this mixture over the waiting muffins.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top and cooked through when tested with a skewer.

Makes 12

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  1. ah, this must be my favorite combination of flavors!

    unfortunately, my sister is never a fan of cinnamon. :(

  2. Mmm, they look gooooood! It's a while since I baked muffins, but I'll try and remember these appley ones in the Autumn when we're always overwhelmed with apples here in the UK (usually given away free by lucky people with apple trees in their gardens!)

  3. Michelle - Now you've got an excuse to make them and not share them!

    Norm - Ooh, I love the idea of having overflowing apple trees! How lucky! :)

  4. I love muffins with lots of "bits" in them and these look perfect! :D

  5. These muffins sound and look delicious! Apples are in season at the moment so this recipe is perfect. :)

  6. I love yoghurt in baking :) defr makes a difference. Looks fab :D

  7. You had me at apple.... on my to do list!



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.