baked apple fritter muffins

I have been seeing a lot of apple fritter recipes around the web lately...  and really, who doesn't love a good apple fritter?

I was actually contemplating getting out the frying pan and making some today, but I quickly realized I am just not up for that kind of mess.

Or the smells of frying anything.

Food and I are not the best of friends these days...

So I decided to whip up some apple fritter muffins instead!  Much easier!!

I took a simple cinnamon-sugar muffin batter, filled it with tons of apples and rolled it all in browned butter and cinnamon & sugar.

Yum, yum, YUM!

This little treat hit the spot.  I wish you could come over and have some pretend apple fritters with me!

Baked Apple Fritter Muffins Recipe
loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen
makes 36-40 mini muffins, depending on the size of your tins

for the coating:
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted and browned*
for the muffins:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
3 cups finely diced apples (about 3 large)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping;  Set aside.

*To brown the butter:  In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat until melted and starting to foam.  Stir occasionally while the butter continues to cook, turning a bit brown on the bottom and smelling rich and nutty.  When the butter is browned and aromatic, pull it off the heat and set aside.

Butter or spray 2-24 ct. mini muffin pans and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the 1/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.

Gently stir in the flour and milk, a bit at a time and alternating (1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the milk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour) until just combined.

Fold in the apples and spoon into the muffin tins, about 3/4 full.  (You won't probably fill all of both pans, but you will get more than one pan-full!).

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the muffins a springy when you press them and a toothpick inserted in to one of them comes out clean.

Remove the muffins to a wire rack until they are just cool enough to touch.

When you can pick them up...  take each muffin and dip it in the browned butter and then roll it in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Serve warm with a big glass of cold milk!

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