The Engineer asked me for apple muffins months ago. I tried a recipe (see here), but he said that those weren’t what he had in mind. I realized that I really did not know what he had in mind, so I asked him to find some recipes for me. He came up with two, and I think we have a winner.
I tried the whole wheat apple muffins (photo above). They smelled fantastic, but the Engineer felt that there was too much of a contrast of textures here, with the apple chunks, and he preferred the spiced apple coconut muffins below. I didn’t make them exactly as called for, because I couldn’t bring myself to add glaze on a crumb topping, especially considering that this is supposed to be breakfast, not dessert. That being said, they were delicious! I got 14 muffins in all.
For the topping
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup lactose-free butter or margarine, melted
½ cup flour
¼ cup coconut flakes
For the muffin batter
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) lactose-free butter or margarine, softened to room temperature
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup lactose-free sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut milk
1½ cups peeled and chopped apples (½ inch chunks), approximately 2 small apples
For the glaze (I didn’t make it)
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Tbsp. coconut milk
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping
Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well to combine until the mixture is thick and crumbly. Set aside.
For the muffins
Preheat oven to 425 °F. Line a standard-sized muffin tin with paper liners or grease the tin (I got 14 muffins in all, but it might be wise to start with a standard 12-muffin tin).
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, five-spice powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on high for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add both the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat on high for approximately 2 minutes, again scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to ensure the mixture is well mixed.
Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix well on medium-high speed.
Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and using a wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula, stir in the reserved flour mixture. Pour in the coconut milk and again stir to combine, leaving little lumps in the batter. Add the apples and again stir gently to combine.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, evenly dividing the batter among the 12 (or more) tins. Sprinkle large chunks of the topping on the batter in the tins, evenly dividing among all tins.
Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425 °F. Then, leaving the oven door closed and the muffins still in the oven, reduce the heat to 350 °F. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean (for me, 13 minutes was enough for that second round).
After you remove the muffins from the oven, allow them to cool slightly in the pan while you prepare the glaze.
For the glaze
While the muffins cool slightly, whisk together all of the glaze ingredients, adding more coconut milk as necessary to thin the glaze.
With a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the warm muffins before cooling completely.