Whole Wheat Apple & Oat Muffins

With all that’s been going on over here, I needed a baking session to keep everyone’s spirits up – and just to have an easy, healthy snack on hand. These apple muffins are my go-to because they are so easy, quick, and healthy. I often bring them to church when it’s my turn to bake, doing a mini muffin for easy eating. The only problem with them is that they get eaten too fast! Everyone loves these – my kids, my husband, everyone at church, anyone who tries them really. They’re moist and flavorful and great warm AND after they’ve cooled. We eat them for breakfast, with lunch or as a snack. I’ve refined this recipe and use a few different options depending how I’m feeling and what OHI I have.

Are you convinced yet?  😉 Let’s bake.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1/2 C softened butter or margarine
2/3 C sugar OR 1/3 each of honey and sugar
2 extra large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour*
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1tsp milk
1 cup applesauce
OPTIONAL:
*one chopped apple (Granny Smith is best, but you can always use your OHI)
*1 c oats
*you can substitute all purpose flour if you prefer, or even do half AP and half wheat flour.
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Start by preheating your oven to 350° and preparing your muffin tins. When I make regular size muffins, I use paper wrappers; when I make minis I just go paperless.

Cream together your butter (or margarine) and sugar (or honey). Most times, in baking, the creaming process has a lot to do with the final product. That’s why it’s important to start with softened butter.

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If using sugar and honey, add sugar first

Here is what a good cream should look like (fluffy and light and combined):
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When complete add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time.
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Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary, using a rubber spatula. I even scrape the bottom of my bowl to be sure all the butter is not stuck on the bottom. Now add all your spices and baking soda & powder.

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Measure, then sprinkle gradually around sides of bowl for better mixing

Be sure to fully combine before moving on, and scrape side of bowl if needed.

Next you’ll alternate the flour and applesauce.
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Add 1/2 cup flour until fully incorporated, followed by 1/2 cup applesauce.
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Then 1/2 cup flour, the rest of the applesauce, and the rest of the flour. Last add milk a teaspoon at a time if the batter looks too thick. (The more you make this, the more you’ll understand what the final product should be. I think because I used honey this time, it was more dense and needed a little loosening up.)

Lastly add your oats, if desired. Put your mixer on high to break up the oats, otherwise the muffins will be dry. (Add a little milk or more applesauce bifv the batter looks too thick.)
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And/or stir in chopped apples if desired. (Don’t use the mixer!)

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I actually like big chunks best. If you have toddlers or you’re making mini-muffins, you can dice the apples.

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Since I was doing regular sized muffins, I left the chunks bigger:
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If you’re making mini muffins you can dice the Apple, or leave it out altogether.
I love the apples here because they add texture, yet still get soft and warm in the oven. So delicious!
When apples are incorporated, scoop mix into muffin tin. I use a ladle to pour.
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I know many people use an ice cream scoop, but I find this harder to maneuver unless you have one with the little button to push the contents out. Even then you need the exact right size. But you can use whatever you have on hand. Maybe all you have is two tablespoons. That’s ok. Just fill them as evenly as possible so they all cook the same.

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I fill them just about to the top

Bake for about 20 minutes (mini-muffins for 15-17). They are finished when the tops look dry and are a little springy to the touch. If you’re not sure you can always use the classic test – stick a toothpick in the middle, and if it comes out clean, they’re done.
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But wait!

If you want a little something extra, you can cook a bit of oats in a pat or two of butter in the microwave (only takes a few seconds -10 TOPS!) Then stir in some cinnamon and/or some sugar in the raw. Then spoon this on top of the muffins BEFORE you bake. I do this because I feel like it’s healthier, easier, and quicker than an official strudel topping (as delicious as those are!) which is what I was going for when I first made these.

This recipe makes at least 14 muffins, though if you use apples you will probably get another 1-2 from it.
Keep in a plastic bag on the counter for up to a week. Be sure not to completely seal the bag so they don’t get too mushy.

Hope your family enjoys our favorite muffins!

From my kitchen to yours: Enjoy !

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