I just got back from a whirlwind weekend trip to D.C. and Northern Virginia.
I caught up with some of my favorite people in this world, saw two of my good friends get married, consumed copious amounts of chocolate and champagne, rode the Metro, toured some amazing Virginia wineries, discovered mulled wine (how have I never had mulled wine before?), did some shopping, sliced through my fingertip with a chef’s knife, and derived an embarrassing amount of joy from multiple trips to 7-Eleven. (Can you say iced coffee?)
I’m flying to North Carolina on Thursday. And then driving to Colonial Williamsburg on Friday.
I’ve spent a grand total of 16 hours in my office this week.
And I’ve spent even fewer hours in my own home. Or kitchen, for that matter.
I should be packing. Cleaning. Doing laundry. Measuring out my shampoo and conditioner into tiny 1-ounce, TSA-approved bottles because I hate checking a bag. Consoling my two kittens, who fear that their big, orange bowl of food will eventually become empty and there will be no one to refill it. Ever. Again.
But instead I’m baking muffins.
Spiced apple cider muffins, actually.
I had these for breakfast last weekend, and I just could not wait to make them myself. (No, really. I couldn’t wait. I’m making them now instead of packing. That’s how good they are.)
These taste exactly like apple cider doughnuts. Only they’re so much better for you. Don’t believe me? Check out the nutrition facts. See? Go ahead. Have two.
I wouldn’t recommend making them while you’re packing for your next trip. There’s a distinct possibility that I packed my measuring spoons with my toothbrush. Guess we’ll find out when I get to North Carolina!
Spiced Apple Cider Muffins
Recipe from EatingWell
Active time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour
Makes 12 muffins
For the streusel
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, (optional)
For the muffins
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup apple butter, such as Smucker’s
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup apple cider
1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
For the streusel
Mix brown sugar, whole-wheat flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts, if using.
For the muffins
Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
Whisk egg and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in apple butter, syrup, cider, yogurt and oil. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they’ll be quite full). Sprinkle with the streusel.
Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.