Wednesday, December 21

Caramel Apple Muffins & All That Jazz!

Almost two months ago Jared came home for my birthday. With him came 4 Jazz apples. Have you heard of these apples? They were foreign to me until I found them in my new refrigerator, fruit bin bottom right. This is not the first time he has brought food to the house from his apartment and almost certainly I can count on the said food being healthy. Jared is a health nut, so when I found these apples I knew where they had come from. I am not a huge apple fan...no e-mails please. I do love fruit, but apples would not be my first choice. Shove a stick in one and wrap it up in caramel and I'm your girl! Not real sure where Jared picked up his views on healthy eating.
Jazz apples growing in New Zealand.
  The following conversation was my introduction to the Jazz Apple. I took the apples out of the fridge and put them on the kitchen counter. Jared comes in, stage left, and asks,"why are my apples not in the refrigerator where I left them?" Me, standing at the kitchen sink,..."Jared, I took them out because you should never leave apples in the fruit bin. They make all of the other fruit ripen too fast and spoil. I thought everyone knew that." Jared, in disbelief says,..."well these are Jazz Apples, I think they are different, they won't make the other fruit spoil." Me, getting irritated..."Jared an apple is an apple...how can it be any different?" He takes out his rather large pocket knife, I'll leave the knife story for another day, and he cut up one of his coveted Jazz apples and held it out for me to take. First bite, it's good. It's different tasting. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that tastes different. I take another bite, chew, chew, chew....hummmm I do believe it IS truly different from any other apple I have eaten....and it's GOOD!  Chewing, I look at the ceiling. Chewing, I look at the floor. I look anywhere that is not in the general direction of where Jared is standing. Okay so how do I get out of this gracefully?  Coughing I say,...."well son I do believe you are right, that is THE best apple I have ever eaten. Sorry." He turns to leave the kitchen and over his shoulder he throws out, "Yeah, right and All That Jazzzzz Mom." I almost choked on my apple. Really? What 23 year old knows the phrase "All That Jazz"?
   I must say they were great apples and quite frankly too good to bake in a muffin. We ate the apples and I used Romas for these muffins. When these muffins come out of the oven they are gone in under 30 minutes in my house. They are THE BEST muffins I bake, truly. Blue Ribbon winners. Read the recipe...just a bit more time intensive than other muffin recipes but well worth your time. Trying to impress your in-laws Christmas Morning?  This will do it! Good Luck and Enjoy!! 

Caramel-Apple Muffins
MAKES 24 MUFFINS
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INGREDIENTS
  •  1 (3-pound) bag small apples   (12 to 14 apples)  
  •  2 cups sugar
  •  1 cup vegetable oil
  •  3 large eggs, lightly beaten  
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla extract  
  •  3 cups all-purpose flour  
  •  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon  
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt  
  •  2 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted and divided
WHAT TO DO
  • Peel, core, and cut 4 apples into 24 (1/4-inch-thick) rings. Sauté apple rings, in batches, in a lightly greased skillet over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet, and place 1 apple ring in the bottom of each of 24 lightly greased muffin pan cups.
  • Peel and finely chop enough remaining apples to equal 3 cups. Set aside.
  • Stir together sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to sugar mixture, stirring just until blended. (Batter will be stiff.) Fold in finely chopped apples and 1 cup pecans.
  • Spoon batter evenly over apple rings in muffin pan cups, filling cups three-quarters full.
  • Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan, apple rings up, on a wire rack.
  • Press the handle of a wooden spoon gently into the center of each apple ring, forming a 1-inch-deep indentation in the muffins. Spoon warm Quick Caramel Frosting evenly over muffins, filling indentations. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans.

Quick Caramel Sauce: 
  •  2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  •  1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar  
  •  1/2 cup butter
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Place all ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat.
  • Quick Caramel-Pecan Frosting: Prepare Quick Caramel Frosting as directed; remove from heat, and stir in 1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans.

THE DOMESTIC CURATOR 
RONDA

2 comments:

  1. Hi, I'm stopping by from The Weekend Social. I just love making muffins and your recipe sounds delicious. It's a perfect recipe for fall and the bushel of apples my daughter and her family picked this past weekend. Thanks for sharing your recipe.l

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    Replies
    1. Joanne, they won a blue ribbon a few years back at The State Fair of Texas! They are messy......but oh so worth it! Special treat for cold fall mornings.

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