Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Applesauce Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
Apple Cider Applesauce (recipe follows)
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin thin and a 6-cup tin with paper liners. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Put 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, the granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs, 1 at a time. On low speed, mix in the applesauce and then the flour mixture. Stir in the nuts.
  3. Divide the batter among the muffins cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until a tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in the tins on a wire rack.
  4. Meanwhile, in the clean bowl of the electric mixer, mix the cream cheese with the remaining 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter and 1 cup brown sugar on medium speed until smooth. Spread the cream cheese frosting on the muffins. The muffins can be refrigerated in airtight containers up to 2 days.

Apple Cider Applesauce

1 lb juicy apples, such as McIntosh, peeled, cored, and quartered
3/4 cup apple cider
1 Tbs. sugar, plus more if needed
Pinch of salt

  1. Bring the apples and cider to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover the pan; reduce heat. Simmer until the apples are very soft, about 12 minutes. Stir in the sugar and salt.
  2. Cook (uncovered) over medium-low heat until the apples have broken down and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  3. Puree in a food processor or mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add more sugar, if desired. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.
Recipe from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, The New Classics

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