The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Apple Chai Muffins

Howdy friends!  Happy “Son-day”!   I hope you and yours are well and happy, and enjoying this beautiful day that the Lord has made.  I know that I for one have been enjoying this cooler weather.  How ‘bout you?  We’ve even had rain in Zig Zag this past week, so things are green and the cows are happy too.

One of my favorite bloggers is Modern Mrs. Cleaver, and I came across this wonderful recipe for Apple Chai Muffins on her site a few weeks ago, and HAD TO give it a try.  I already had the tea in my pantry, because it’s one of my favorites, so I tested it the very first chance I had.  (I didn’t even wait until the weekend like I usually do!)  I liked it so much, that I’ve already made it a couple of times.  I even took some to work, and the truck drivers I work with were asking why I didn’t make more!  Give it a try and let me know what you think…and stop by and check out Modern Mrs. Cleaver’s website.  She’s got LOTS of great recipes that you won’t want to miss.
 

I made a few using small custard cups rather than muffin tins.  Look how tall & beautiful they turned out!

Apple Chai Muffins 

INGREDIENTS:
Chai Glaze
1/2 cup milk
2 chai tea bags (I used vanilla chai, like Modern Mrs. Cleaver recommended!)
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
 
Batter - Dry Ingredients
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar (or your favorite sugar substitute, I used Whey Low Type D)
3 teaspoons low-sodium baking powder (or regular baking powder)
1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel (I prefer fresh, but dried will do)
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (the original recipe called for 1/2 tsp., but I almost always use half of the amount called for)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I didn’t want the muffins too spicy, so I halved the amount of all the spices -- except the cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (the original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, but I didn’t have any on hand, this substitution worked well)

Batter - Wet Ingredients
    1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
1 cup fat free sour cream (I've also used plain non-fat Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup melted Smart Balance Butter Blend sticks (or real butter)
1 large apple (cored, peeled, and diced into small cubes -- I used the Granny Smith variety -- if your apples are small, use two!)
 
Streusel Topping
1/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F and spray muffin cups with your favorite non-stick spray.
 
Prepare the chai glaze by heating milk in a saucepan until it is hot, and just starts to simmer…DON’T BOIL.  Remove from heat and add the tea bags.  Let them steep in the hot milk for about 10 minutes, stirring then around now and then to get as much of their flavor into the milk as possible.  Set aside for now, and start on the muffin batter.
 
 
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and whisk together until well blended.
 
In a separate bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk together the eggs, sour cream, and melted butter.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just blended.  Be careful not to stir too much, which will overwork the batter and give you tough muffins!  (NOTE:  This will be a thick batter.)  Stir in the diced apples and mix until combined.  Now just let the batter “rest” while you make the streusel topping.
 
 
Place the sugar, flour, and cinnamon into the bowl of your food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand.  (You can also do this by hand…just cut the chilled butter into small cubes and using a fork or pastry cutter, “cut” the butter into the flour mixture until your get a crumbly texture.  Either way is fine, the food processor is just a bit faster!)
 
Fill greased muffin cups about 2/3 full.  I use a large cookie scoop (an ice cream scoop would work fine as well).  Sprinkle each muffin with a generous amount of the streusel topping.
 
Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until muffins pass a “toothpick test”.
 
While the muffins are baking (and boy do they smell good!), you’ll need to finish preparing the glaze.  Using a 2-cup measuring cup (or a medium-sized bowl), simply whisk together the chai flavored milk and powdered sugar until it reaches a “drizzle” consistency.  Feel free to taste-test (just to make sure it’s good enough to serve of course).
 
Once the muffins are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes before removing them to a cooking rack.  (NOTE:  Using a cooling rack allows the muffins to cool completely without the bottoms getting soggy.)  I like to put my cooling racks over a jelly roll pan (or any other pan with sides) so that I can glaze the muffins right over that without dirtying the counter.
 
 
While the muffins are still warm, spoon (or if you’re using the measuring cup for your glaze, you can even pour) a small amount of the chai glaze over top of each one.  (If you have glaze left over, don’t dump it!  I’m sure you can find another use for it!)
 
As I mentioned, I’ve made these several times now, and everyone who has tried them has given them a thumbs up!  Many thanks to Modern Mrs. Cleaver for the wonderful recipe!!  It’s definitely on my “favorites” list.
 
 
Enjoy your day my friends, and don’t forget to thank the Good Lord for giving it to you!
 
Blessings,
--Faithy

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