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Friday, April 20, 2012

Apple Streusel Muffins

I appreciate a really good muffin. To date I have never purchased a commercially baked muffin from a coffee shop or grocery store and intend to keep it that way for as long as I can.

Of all baked goods, muffins could be one of the most effortless to make with such rewarding results. Muffins cater to most tastes being the vehicle in which anything from fruit, vegetables, cheese or even meats such as bacon and ham find their perfect place. Sweet or savoury, they can be most satisfying.

Occasionally, I get an irresistible urge to bake something…anything… and sometimes it seems at the strangest time of the day. The strangest time could possibly be at the end of the day when the kitchen is finally tidy from the day’s activities and the “closed for the day” sign needs to go up.

When all efforts fail to resist getting something into that oven I think of an easy muffin recipe or remember that I've actually taken my own advice and measured out a double batch of dry ingredients the last time I baked some.

A few minutes is all it takes before the aroma satisfies that baking urge at the same time providing something yummy for breakfast or even a mid day snack.

Remembering a few simple rules when making muffins is all it takes to ensure pleasurable results.

But above all remember, a muffin without an impressive muffin top… is just a cupcake!

Apple Streusel Muffins

In one of my previous posts I mentioned still being on the quest for an Apple Muffin recipe that had long been lost.
I wasn’t just telling stories as I have tried at least three more recipes for Apple Muffins since then hoping to end my search and celebrate.
A celebration may be in order for the discovery of these Apple Streusel Muffins.

2 cups sifted all purpose flour (sift before measuring)
½ cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup cold butter or margarine
1 cup peeled, cored and finely diced apple ( approximately 1 large or 2 medium apples)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
¼ cup chopped walnuts (for topping)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (for topping)
  1. Sift together sifted flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Cut in butter or margarine with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.
  3. Measure out ¼ cup of the mixture and reserve for topping.
  4. Stir apple and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest into mixture in bowl.
  5. In a blender, blend together egg and milk then add all at once to apple mixture and stir just until moistened. ( batter will be lumpy)
  6. Spoon into paper lined muffin tins. Blend reserved crumb mixture with remaining teaspoon lemon rind, walnuts and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and sprinkle over each muffin.
  7. Bake in a 425 degree F. oven for 20 minutes or until golden and tops spring back when pressed with fingertip.
  8. Remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack.
  9. Makes 7 or 8 for large muffins or 12 small muffins.
Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • Substituting brown sugar for the granulated sugar in the muffin recipe in my opinion gives better results.
  • Don't be tempted to omit the lemon zest, it really adds a lot of flavour.
  • The recipe didn’t call for cinnamon but the addition of 1 teaspoon blended in very well.
  • I forgot (accidentally on purpose) to add the 2 extra tablespoons of granulated sugar to the 1/4 cup of reserved topping and didn't miss it at all.

Funneling Your Energy into Better Results…

When making muffins that include a topping like streusel, chocolate chips or nuts to be added before baking, most of that topping usually ends up on the counter or on the muffin tin.

After so many years came a wonderful discovery making it easier for the topping to end up exactly where it’s supposed to. This was by no means a heavenly revelation but came to me at a moment of total frustration!
While cleaning streusel topping that had landed everywhere but on top of the muffins, I wondered what could possibly make this step a little easier. While looking around the kitchen for an idea my eyes were drawn to a canning funnel nestled between some measuring cups inside an open drawer. Acquainted with this tool only at tomato harvest time a new appreciation immediately developed and I just knew that we would become the best of friends.

After filling the muffin cups with batter, hold the funnel over each cup as close as possible without touching the batter and add the topping with a spoon or fingers. The topping will only fall onto the muffin batter and nowhere else, no waste no mess!

They say "necessity is the mother of invention” however, this saying does not stipulate a time frame in which there will be an invention.

“Better late than never” is yet another saying.


  1. Good tip with the funnel and of course I'm a big fan of any play on words. Would the funnel work when you are pouring, say, chocolate on top of, say, an oval shaped puff-pastry style dessert? Do you have an oval-shaped funnel?

    How much fun-nel I'll have when I get to make these for myself. Muffins I can do. But it's that other dessert I don't possess the skill quite yet to make. *ahem*

  2. Elizabeth please leave your poor Mother alone, go to Costco and buy a big tub of your much desired CREAM PUFFS.they will satisfy your needs for now. If you don't have a Costco card borrow your Mother's, you are too funny.

    1. the misunderstood elizabethApril 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      Do you mean fun-nely?

      And what makes you think I was talking about cream puffs? Maybe you're craving them more than me!!

  3. Thanks Marianne,

    I should have put that idea in my "Notes, Tips and Suggestions"

  4. Dear daughter,
    Since the quest for the long lost Apple Muffin Recipe seems to have come to an end I will be launching a new quest for an oval funnel.
    Until such time that I locate one, the baking of your oval shaped pastries has been put on hold.

    Please feel free to inform me should you come across one before I do.

    In the meantime...Happy Muffins!!