You can chop up apples and add them to a muffin batter if you want some apple muffins. I’ve done this on occasion, usually when I want the apples to really stand apart from the rest of the muffin. But this is also the problem with this method, because the chunks of apple don’t necessarily mesh well with the rest of the muffin and you don’t get that nice apple flavor in every bite. One trick I use to eliminate this problem is to shred the apples before incorporating them. You get just as much apple into the muffin that way, and it is spread evenly throughout the batter.
These Apple Walnut Muffins use the shredded apple trick to get lots of apple flavor from just one apple. I added in some cinnamon and nutmeg, and plenty of chopped walnuts, too. The buttery walnuts provide a nice crunch, but also go very well with the apple and spices. I left my walnuts in fairly large chunks, but you can chop them more finely if you prefer to get your crunch in smaller bits.
The finished muffins are very easy to throw together and smell delicious when the come out of the oven. The spices seem to flatter the apples and walnuts without overpowering them and turning this into a spice muffin.They are moist, tender and just hearty enough to be satisfying without being too heavy. I used bread flour in these to help promote that slightly hearty, muffin-y texture, but you can substitute all purpose flour in this recipe for a slightly more tender result (the results will be good both ways).
Apple Walnut Muffins
2 cups bread flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large apple, shredded (approx. 1 cup)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla extract and shredded apple. Add in flour mixture and fold the ingredients together until only a few streaks of dry ingredients remain. Fold in walnuts until equally distributed.
Divide batter evenly into prepared pan, filling each cup until just about full.
Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool.