When I opened the oven door to take out these apple-pecan muffins, I was hit with a blast of warm, cinnamon-spiked air. The batter is studded with chunks of apple, and brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans make a crunchy topping that begins to caramelize during baking. Tender and chewy, these are muffins you can feel good about eating – they aren’t overly sweet, which makes them a perfect snack anytime!
Adapted from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar, divided
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 cup flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 400°F and line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with baking cups or cooking spray. Mix together 2 tablespoons brown sugar, pecans, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl. Combine remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar and oil in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Whisk in applesauce and vanilla. Add half of flour mixture, stirring just to combine. Add buttermilk, then finish with remaining flour mixture. Gently stir in apple pieces.
Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into each baking cup and sprinkle evenly with pecan mixture. Sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing from pan to serve warm or cool completely. Cooled muffins can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Yield – 18 muffins (serving size: 1 muffin)
Calories – 142
Carbs – 23