Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apple Cream Cheese Muffins

These muffins are amazing.  I can't tell you enough how delicious they are.  They're surprisingly light, and they'd be incredible with a spread of cream cheese. 

The recipe calls for one cup of diced apple, and that was just one apple for me.  It also calls for a half stick of butter, which I used, but next time I make them, I might substitute applesauce for the butter; it would enhance the apple flavor and still give the moisture.  You can usually substitute applesauce for oil in baking recipes, so I'm sure it would work the same way in this one.  It calls for half a cup of bran cereal, and I just used my Special K; I don't think that's technically bran cereal, but it's my favorite cereal, and it turned out great.  If you want a fancier topping, I'm sure they'd be wonderful with a streusel topping, but the plain old cinnamon and sugar combination was perfect for us.  The recipe yields 16 muffins.

(Side note about cinnamon/sugar: my mom tells me frequently how amazed she is at everything I cook because I was SUCH a picky eater as a kid.  For years, she tells me, I wouldn't eat anything if it wasn't covered in cinnamon or cheese.  My tastes have developed since then, but my love for things topped with cinnamon or cheese has remained.)

You have to make these muffins soon.  They go perfectly with the wonderful fall weather we've been having, and they make your house smell amazing while they're baking!

Apple Cream Cheese Muffins

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup bran cereal

1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and cream cheese.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each one.  Add milk and vanilla to other wet ingredients and mix.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring until just incorporated.  Fold in apples and cereal. 

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full with muffin batter.  Combine cinnamon and sugar for topping, and sprinkle over batter.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes in muffin tin before removing from pan to cool on a rack. 

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