Apple Muffins with Caramelized Hazelnuts Photo: Anne Skoogh
Apples are easily found all year round, but if you want Swedish apples, the season is considerably shorter. Some are ripe in early summer, but most sorts aren’t ready until late summer or fall. Some are even later. For these muffins, it won’t really matter much what kind you use – just use one that you like to eat!
It’s a very versatile recipe, as you don’t add the fruit until the end – you can just as easily swap the apples for, say, blueberry or raspberry, or maybe try a combination of blackberries and apples? I love this combination though – apples, cinnamon and caramelized hazelnuts… Delicious!
Don’t be scared of the extra step of caramelizing the nuts. You can certainly skip it, but it does add an extra layer of flavor, and it’s not difficult at all. Make sure there are no kids around though – caramel is HOT. And you want some kind of silicone or teflon baking mat – or oil a regular baking sheet.
This recipe yielded me 12 normal-sized muffins, and 15 mini-sized. It would probably have been enough for 18 normal-sized, but I wanted to make some minis without the nuts, since so many people are allergic these days. I also like making smaller ones for the sheer cuteness – and to offer my two-year old boy. (Not that he won’t eat a regular-sized one if given the choice.)
Apple Muffins with Caramelized Hazelnuts
For the nuts:
100 ml hazelnuts, toasted (If you can’t find them at the store, toast them yourself for about 10 minutes in a 200°C oven)
50 ml sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Heat the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan, and watch closely as it’ll turn deep golden brown. Add the nuts, stir, and immediately turn out onto a teflon or silicone baking mat, or an oiled baking sheet. Let cool completely, then chop coarsely.
For the muffins:
200 g butter, at room temperature
70 g brown sugar
80 g sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
280 g flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2-3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice
Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla sugar as well, or the extract.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and make sure to mix well in between each addition. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
Half-fill muffin cups placed in a muffin tin for extra sturdiness. As this batter is on the thick side, you can lightly wet your fingers to press down the batter. Add about a tablespoon of diced apples, and lightly dust with cinnamon. Sprinkle with the chopped caramelized nuts.
Bake at about 190°C. The normal-sized muffins will take about 15 minutes, and minis 10 minutes. Use a cake-tester or a toothpick to check that they’re done – it should come out clean.