I'm gearing up for a bit of fall preserving over here, but before I start putting up apples and pears I thought I should take care of the stragglers left over in the "pantry" from last year. I had one lonely jar of apple butter left on the shelf and I wanted to make a recipe that would use the whole thing in one go, so I turned to a fall favorite muffin recipe and made a few simple swaps. The results are these gently spiced, sugar coated beauties and some open space to fill with some new jars. Not to shabby, for leftovers.
Apple Butter Doughnut Muffins
yield 12 muffins
adapted from Everyday Food
The results of this recipe rest heavily on the apple butter you choose to use in this recipe. The apple butter I make at home is lightly sweetened and spiced so the amounts of additional sugar and spice in this recipe reflect that. If your apple butter is heavily spiced you may want to hold off on adding additional spices, but do make sure there is a bit of nutmeg in there. The nutmeg is the key to the donutty flavor. I imagine they would also bake up quite nicely in a doughnut pan.
12 3/4 ounces all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
5 ounces softened butter
3 3/4 ounces brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces buttermilk
8 ounces prepared apple butter
1 small apple, peeled and diced into 1/4'' cubes
For the Topping/Coating
3.5 ounces granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 ounces melted butter
1 ounce confectioner's sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350º and butter and flour a 12 cup muffin tin
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In another small bowl whisk together the buttermilk and apple butter.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then add the vanilla extract.
3. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the apple butter mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the diced apple by hand. The mixture will be very thick.
4. Scoop 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
5. While the muffins are baking prepare the topping by mixing the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, working with one at a time, brush the muffins with butter and toss to coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture. When completely cool, dust with confectioner's sugar (optional). These muffins taste best the day that they are made.