Updated: 7 days ago
If you think the muffins look decadent in the photo, wait until you sink your teeth into them...crumbly soft crumb dotted with little knobs of Granny Smith apples, a buttery, cinnamon-y streusel and the warm, toasty caramel with only a bit of coarse salt. Unbelievably tasty--super fall-ish--because once you bake them, you will have essentially scented your house for a few days, in the best way.
No harm at all in serving these suckers for dessert with a plop of ice cream.
Notes: Neutral oil is grape seed by Grapeola, you can find it here.
SALTED CARAMEL APPLE STREUSEL MUFFINS
Ingredients: 1 Granny Smith apple, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 2 eggs at room temperature, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1/2 cup oil. For the streusel: 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 1/2 cup flour + 2 tbsp., 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon. For the caramel: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 3 tbsp. butter, pinch of salt, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tbsp. powdered sugar, coarse salt for dusting.
Makes about 14 muffins.
1. Preheat oven to 375* F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Lightly spritz with cooking spray.
2. Peel and chop the apple, then spoon around with the lemon juice, set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and sea salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry, mixing until just combined. Fold in apples.
4. Make streusel by forking ingredients together until crumbly.
5. Fill muffin cups to 1/2 full. Add streusel over top of muffins. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Cool.
7. Make caramel: Pour the sugar in an even layer into a medium saucepan set to medium heat. Watch closely. When the sugar has begun to turn brown in the center and melt, you are nearly there. Once there is only a rim of un-melted sugar around the edge, heat the whipping cream in the microwave for 45-60 seconds (it should be bubbling.)
8. Remove caramel from heat, and set on a folded towel so it doesn't slip. Whisk in the hot cream like a mad person, until combined, followed by the butter. Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar.
9. Serve immediately, either by drizzling over the muffins, or allowing each person to pour on their own. A tiny pinch of coarse salt over top is really delicious.
The sugar moves from melted and bubbling to burnt quickly. Have your cream in the microwave ready to heat, as soon as you see about 75% of the sugar is melted and brown. If the cream isn't hot and bubbling, it will bring the sugar temperature down and it will instantly harden and not "whisk". Have your other ingredients lined up and measured out so they can be incorporated quickly as well. Pour the caramel through a sieve if it is lumpy.
If all else fails, start again. Don't stress. Caramel is good thing to master. Or just buy some.
To re-melt the caramel, since it hardens as it cools, heat on 25% power for 30 seconds in the microwave.
To clean your saucepan, fill with very hot water and dish soap, and allow to sit.