heavenly apple muffins

i am almost always disappointed when I eat a fruit muffin. there is just never enough fruit in any blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, whatever muffin i’ve ever had. it’s truly a pet peeve of mine, so i am not kidding when i say these are the best apple muffins i have ever tasted, BURSTING with apple goodness.

it’s no secret that Smitten Kitchen is one of my all-time favorite blogs. Deb just does not steer your wrong. the first time i made these I followed the recipe to the letter. and it was magic. the second time, i added a streusel topping. mind further blown.

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streusel topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (this includes the 1/4 cup brown sugar topping from the recipe)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

mix the flour, sugars and salt and add melted butter. stir with a fork until you get little pea-sized cruumbles. divide evenly among muffins before popping them into the oven.

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the easiest applesauce

i love apple season. apple season in minnesota is particularly enjoyable because we have the best apple in the world – the minnesota honey crisp. i’ve heard of people baking with them, but that just seems sacrilege – they are so delicious you just have to eat them raw. however, there is nothing like a good baking apple to do with what you please. and if you’re like me, it’s gotten to the point in the season where most people have gotten their fill, so are offering up their leftover apples to those who can go the distance – ME. i’ll be sharing with you a few easy and delicious ways to use up those apples this week and ease myself back into blogging.  let’s start with something REALLY easy – applesauce!

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THE EASIEST APPLESAUCE (i’m actually not that into applesauce, but this recipe has been approved by my husband – resident apple sauce eater)

4-5 large apples (the ones i used were practically softball sized)
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t cardamom
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground nutmeg (adjust the amount of any of these spices to your personal tastes!)
1/2 c water
1/2 apple cider (or apple juice) *or use all water or all cider

-peel, core and slice all the apples
-throw into a large dutch/french oven
-add spices and liquids – stir so all the slices are coated evenly
-pop the lid onto the pot, turn the heat to medium-low and let the mixture bubble away
-it’ll take about 25-20 minutes for the apples to soften – give it a couple stirs during cooking
-once they are cooked all the way through, you can mash them with a potato masher if you want a chunky applesauce or scoop it all up into a blender. i did a potato masher-immersion blender combo (so i wouldn’t have to dirty up another appliance), but beware of hot applesauce splatter if you do the same.

ENJOY!

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