I’m not even sure how I’m posting this right now. Last night was the fifth night out of the last six that Lyric was up every hour during the night, and me with her. She is cheerfully wandering around the living room, snacking on found fries from Sunday evening and a piece of a chocolate chip pancake from yesterday, while I am sitting at my laptop looking and feeling much like a zombie.
Though it’s a little late in the season for visiting apple orchards (something we didn’t get around to this year, but I suspect Lyric won’t notice the slight when she’s older; we also missed foraging for fiddleheads and ramps, and strawberry picking) there is certainly no shortage of fresh apples and cider in the grocery store, at least not around here. Apple season is certainly still in full swing. Just yesterday, I made an apple pie on a whim, but what I really wanted was these apple cider doughnut muffins.
This is a recipe adapted from my mom’s doughnut muffin recipe, a favorite from my childhood, and updated with a seasonal twist that makes it perfect for a crisp autumn day, but you can make them any time of the year, if you can find cider and apples.
Apple Cider Doughnut Muffins
- 1 large apple, peeled and cored
- 1 c. apple cider (plus 1/2c. for dipping)
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter (softened)
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. milk
- 2 1/2 c. flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. each ground nutmeg, ginger, clove
- cinnamon sugar to coat
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or line a muffin tin. Peel and core apple, and cut into small chunks. In a small saucepan, combine apple and cider, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until apples are cooked down to an almost applesauce-like consistency. (You can mash them if they don’t break up as much as you’d like.) Allow to cool. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until well-combined. Add eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla and milk and blend well. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices until well aerated. Add flour mixture to wet mixture a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add cooled apple mixture to batter, until well-combined. Divide batter among the muffin tins, filling each almost all the way to the top. Bake 8 minutes*, or until lightly browned and springy to the touch, and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes away clean. Dip the top of each muffin into cider quickly, shaking off excess, and then into cinnamon sugar to coat.
*8 minutes for a mini muffin tin; for a standard muffin pan, it will probably take 12 minutes, 16 for jumbo. Be sure to keep an eye on them, because ovens may vary slightly.