So stop me if you've heard this one before:
There's a batch of muffins baking in the oven. One muffin says to another, "Wow! It's hot in here." The other muffin says, "Holy shit! A talking muffin!"
(Thanks, folks! I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your server.)
Fresh muffins at Essex Street Market
The muffin man and me, we go waaaay back. I mean, moist, delicious, snack-sized and terribly portable... what's not to like?
The nice folks at Red Jacket Orchards were sweet enough to send me a case of Newtown Pippins (the official apple of New York city), and I made up a batch of apple muffins (the official muffin of New York state) last night.
Curiously enough, the official recipe for the official muffin officially uses the non-official Empire apple.
I tweaked the official recipe a bit (can't help it... I'm a tweaker) and have come up with a version that's perfect for those of us who need to use up apples and like chunky foods (chunky peanut butter, chunky brownies, Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk...).
If you do use this recipe, I recommend these changes:
1. Don't melt the butter. Instead, cream it with the sugar, eggs, spices and cream cheese. Then go ahead and stir in your flour and fold in the chopped apples. (The apple pieces will soften but won't break down, so keep that in mind as you're judging the size of your dice.)
2. I doubled the amount of apple pieces.
3. Finally, just drop the spoon and walk away, or you're going to overmix. Remember: nobody loves a tough muffin.
My oven required a 27-minute cook-time on these babies, but yours might run hotter, so test with a knife/toothpick for doneness.
Oh, and here's my favorite muffin website. I know, I know, you've probably got your own favorite muffin website, but that's mine, and I'm sticking by it.