Applesauce Mini-Muffins (adapted from Williams-Sonoma)

applesauce-mini-muffins

Today’s is a two-part recipe. These applesauce muffins can easily be made with store-bought applesauce, but making your own is so easy and fun that I thought I’d include that recipe, too. Click on over for crockpot applesauce instructions, and when you’re ready, come back here for the baking!

After we’d been enjoying our applesauce for about a week, I felt overwhelmed by how much we still had left and wondered how I could use some up. I came across a simple muffin recipe on Williams-Sonoma and made a few alterations. Ding ding ding! I left out walnuts (because I don’t like them) and raisins (because David LOATHES them) and used a mini muffin tin instead of a regular sized one. I also added vanilla to the batter to make the flavor a bit more mellow and warm, and included a cinnamon-sugar topping for crunch and a touch of sparkle. The result is adorable, autumnal treats that make a great snack, dessert, or sweet treat at breakfast. They are also great to bring to an event or get-together as they travel well and are just so cute!

Applesauce Mini-Muffins from Williams-Sonoma
makes about 36 mini-muffins

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 generous cup of applesauce (Williams-Sonoma advises measuring this not in a one-cup measure but in a glass measuring cup, like a Pyrex)
1 teaspoon vanilla

carefully picking out bits of stupid, stupid apple peel from my applesauce before baking

Cinnamon sugar for topping (Note: We have an entire shaker of cinnamon sugar just sitting in our cabinet because David eats a lot of cinnamon toast. If you don’t have some around, combine 1/4 cup regular sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder. This will make enough for the muffin toppings plus some extra that you can keep in a jar for cinnamon toast or for sprinkling on oatmeal or applesauce.)

Directions :
Preheat your oven to 350* F and butter a mini muffin tin (or regular muffin tin)
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Create a well in the bottom of the mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, egg, vanilla, and applesauce.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the well in the dry ingredients. Stir; this will take some muscle and seem at first like there are too many dry ingredients, but be persistent. Don’t overmix — stir until just combined.

Combining the wet & dry ingredients. See the chunks in the applesauce? There are two possible results with each chunk : it melts into the muffin, or it becomes a very very soft little apple chunk that you get to bite into. Both results are awesome. So don’t worry if your applesauce is a bit chunky.

Spoon mixture into muffin tin, filling each well between halfway and three-quarters full.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top of each mini muffin.
Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes if in a mini muffin tin or 25 – 30 in a regular tin, or until a toothpick (or in my case, skewer, as I can’t find the toothpicks…) comes out of the center of a muffin clean.
Let cool at least 5 minutes and enjoy!

the muffins are exactly the size of a tea light.
the muffins are exactly the size of a tea light.

These smelled SO GOOD while they were baking. I mean, I thought the applesauce had smelled great but this was next level. The cinnamon sugar topping adds a touch of crunch to these otherwise very moist muffins. They store well in an airtight container for up to a week. But they’re so cute and easy to pop in your mouth that they probably won’t make it that long anyway. 😉

Note on why mini muffins : I just love mini muffins…they are so cute, and it feels like I’ve accomplished more because there are so many MORE muffins. Plus, they’re more versatile. You can have like 4 if you want a big ol’ muffin, but if you just want a teeny snack, these fit the bill too, thus increasing the number of times per day that you can eat the muffins…brilliant, right?

A final note : it is 100% okay to use store-bought applesauce for this recipe! I’d recommend buying applesauce with no sugar added, as sugar-added applesauce + the sugar in the muffin recipe might make them overly sweet.

Simple Crockpot Applesauce

This is your bonus recipe! Check out the main recipe on the blog today : Applesauce Mini Muffins

Last week I made homemade applesauce in the crockpot. I did my usual cooking thing of reading a bunch of recipes online and then kind of cobbling them together/cooking from memory. I chose Jonamacs after a conversation with a police officer and a grocer in the produce section of our co-op, because they were described as tart-but-sweet.  I did not peel them, because I thought, oh, apple peel is good for you! It has fiber! I will blend the applesauce, and then it won’t matter!  Wrong. I did not end up blending the applesauce, I mashed it with a potato masher because I am lazy. And subsequently I have picked out chunks of apple peel while eating applesauce, because it’s just sort of weird and flavorless and floppy. In conclusion: peel your apples.

Innocent-seeming apples with their healthy little peels.
Innocent-seeming apples with their healthy little peels.

Here’s the recipe :

Ingredients
3.5 pounds apples, whatever variety you prefer
1 cinnamon stick
Half a lemon
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup water

Directions
Core, peel, and chop apples (chopping into quarters is fine) & place in crockpot
Juice the lemon and pour into crockpot (pick out lemon seeds first). Cut off chunks of lemon peel and toss those in, too
Add the vanilla, cinnamon stick, and water and give everything a quick stir
Set crockpot to low and walk away to do whatever you have to do that day! (Note: you can give it a stir if you’re around in order to shift the top apples to the bottom, but it isn’t necessary.)
After 4 – 6 hours (depending on your crockpot), remove lemon peel and cinnamon stick and mash apples with a potato masher or large fork
Serve & enjoy!
Keeps in a sealed container in the fridge for 1 – 2 weeks.

crockpot

Okay, now that you’ve got your homemade applesauce, head on over to my post about applesauce mini muffins! Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of homemade applesauce left to eat — the recipe only uses one cup. 🙂

Before I cobbled this recipe together, I read these posts for inspiration : Simply Recipes Applesauce, Detoxinista’s Slow Cooker Applesauce, and The Pioneer Woman’s Homemade Applesauce.