Apple Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

apple-cinnamon-swirl-muffinsApples and cinnamon are such a perfect combination, sometimes it’s a shame they are reserved only for fall baking. On the other hand, maybe their seasonality is what makes us all look forward to them so much. I’ve been on a major breakfast baking kick lately, but I guess being 9 months pregnant can do that to a gal. These Apple Cinnamon Swirl Muffins hit just the spot, with lots of apple in each bite and a cinnamon and brown sugar ribbon.



apple-cinnamon-swirl-muffins-2This recipe calls for 2 cups of diced apples, which was 1 (very!) large gala apple. If your apples are smaller, it may take 2. Make sure to dice up those apples pretty small to make sure they all get cooked properly and there are lots of apple bits in every bite!   I also added a bit of decorating sugar to the top of each muffin…well, because I love decorating sugar, but if there isn’t any on hand, I wouldn’t run out to buy any. These beauties have plenty of sweet, cinnamon-y topping, the decorating sugar is just a little bonus.

(Oh hey there good looking…)

apple-cinnamon-swirl-muffins-3Ingredients (makes 12 cupcake sized muffins):
⅔ cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided
2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
¼ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
⅓ cup milk
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 cups apples, peeled and diced into small pieces (1 large or 2 small apples)
1 tbsp. sanding or decorating sugar (optional)

apple-cinnamon-swirl-muffins-4Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with wrappers. Combine ⅓ cup of the brown sugar with 1 tsp. of cinnamon and set aside. Cream butter, white sugar and remaining brown sugar together using a handheld mixer until fluffy. Add beaten eggs, vanilla and milk and continue to mix on medium for one minute more. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in diced apples and spoon half of the batter mixture into cupcake wrappers, each about ⅓ full. Using half of the cinnamon sugar mixture, add a small spoonful to each muffin. Top each muffin with remaining batter and sprinkle top with remaining sugar mixture (think of 4 layers – batter, cinnamon sugar, batter, cinnamon sugar). Sprinkle tops with decorating sugar and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack. Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Scones

apple-cinnamon-sconesI made Blueberry Scones a few weeks ago that were so popular in my house, they got a cool weather inspired make over, just in time for autumn. Fresh blueberries were traded for apples and cinnamon, and it got me thinking about all the fun ingredients that could be folded into these breakfast treats. I added a little extra cream to the batter to adjust for apples being a little drier than blueberries, and kept an eye on the cooking time during the last few minutes, otherwise it was the same easy-breezy recipe, ready to enjoy with a cup of coffee in under 30 minutes. How fun would it be to make Apple Cinnamon Scones after a day of apple picking? Count me in!

apple-cinnamon-scones-2Ingredients (makes 4 scones):
1 ¼ cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
Pinch salt
3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg
½ cup heavy cream, plus more for adding decorating sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 cup apple, peeled and diced
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. decorating or sanding sugar

apple-cinnamon-scones-3Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix dry ingredients with cold butter, and work mixture with fingers until the texture of wet sand. Whisk together egg, cream and vanilla and add to dry ingredients. Mixed diced apple with cinnamon, fold into dough and transfer dough to a floured surface. These were made with a sweet apple, so if using a more sour apple, like a Granny Smith, I might add a little sugar to the apples before folding into the dough. Work into 4 inch circle, cut into 4ths and transfer scones to a baking stone or cookie sheet lined with parchment, spaced about 1 inch apart. Brush top with remaining cream and sprinkle with decorating sugar. Bake 20-22 minutes until golden. Enjoy!