Welcome autumn and Halloween into your kitchen with these muffins. The recipe will remind you of cinnamon-sugar cake donuts. —Julie Ruble, Charlotte, North Carolina
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup 2% milk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 medium apple, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- CARAMEL SAUCE:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, warmed
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk egg, milk, oil and vanilla until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in apple.
- Fill greased mini-muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
- Meanwhile, for caramel sauce, in a small heavy saucepan, combine sugar and water; stir gently to moisten all the sugar. Cook over medium heat, gently swirling pan occasionally, until syrup turns a medium amber color, about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat; gradually stir in warm cream. Transfer to a small bowl; place bowl in an ice-water bath, stirring frequently until cooled, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from ice water. Whisk in creme fraiche, vanilla and salt.
- For coating, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip tops of warm muffins in butter, then coat in cinnamon-sugar. Serve muffins with caramel sauce. Yield: 4 dozen (scant 1 cup sauce).
Originally published as Caramel Apple Donut Muffins in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2014
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