Muffins

Banana Apple Muffins

So here I sit, sipping my mocha latte, obsessing pondering contemplating overthinking driving myself crazy trying to narrow down what to make for the company holiday party next week.

The first problem I’m facing? My contribution (what a surprise, I was assigned dessert) should be something that doesn’t require a plate/fork – it needs to be portable. It’s an “open house” style party, so people will be filtering in and out for a few hours.

The second problem? Hmmmmmm……… how do I say this nicely……. well, let’s just throw it out there. While I’m imagining something like Torta di Castagna e Cioccolata (a showstopping chestnut and chocolate torte), this is more of a “Twinkie” crowd.

I think I’ll go buy a tray of cookies from Costco and save my time,effort and money for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day………

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Banana Apple Muffins – adapted from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

For the apples:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the banana bread:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups very ripe mashed bananas (2 to 3)

Before you start:
Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.

To make the apples:
Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and brown sugar and heat until bubbling. Add the apples and cinnamon and sauté until golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

To make the muffins:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. In a small bowl, combine the orange juice and vanilla.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the orange juice mixture, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each flour addition. Stir in the mashed bananas until combined. Then stir in the reserved apples.
5. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage.

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