It sure has been a while since my last post! Life gets busy in the summer and fall around here. But now it’s time to slow down, pour a cup of coffee and cozy up by the fire with some Winter comfort food. Can the day start any better than with a warm, caramel drizzled muffin? These muffins are extra special and take some advance preparations, but the flavors are intense.
Several hours before you intend to make the muffins, you’ll need to make a caramel. You’ll need:
A heavy bottomed pan, a wooden spoon and a wire whisk and…
1 cup Sugar
a little water
6 Tbsp Butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup heavy cream
Place the sugar in a heavy bottomed pan, (not aluminum). Stir in a little water until the mixture looks like wet sand. Cook over a moderate heat. Do not stir! Stirring will cause the caramel to crystallize and render it useless. When you start to see a heavy bubbling syrup, give your pan a swirl. Watch closely now, the caramel color is on it’s way… Don’t panic when the color is light amber, take it a few seconds longer, you’ll start to smell the rich caramel aroma. Cut the heat and have your whisk and remaining ingredients ready. Drop one chunk of butter in the pan at a time and whisk until the bubbles start to recede. ! Careful ! Lastly stir in the heavy cream and set aside to cool.
Large dice 2 peeled apples. In a sauce pan take 1/3 cup of the warm caramel, toss in the diced apples and cook until tender. Set aside to cool.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I love King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix. Well it comes in a 1 pound 8 ounce box. You’ll need one pound of the flour for the muffins, leaving you with 8 ounces of flour in the box. What are you going to do with a nearly empty box of flour, put it back in the cupboard? I think not!
Let’s make Gluten Free Streusel!
Mix in a bowl with a fork or your fingers:
8 ounces Gluten Free Flour
4 ounces light brown sugar
4 ounces butter, melted and cooled
Set in the refrigerator to chill until needed.
You can do all these preparations the night before if you’d like. Then get up bright and early to make some fabulous muffins.
Caramel Apple Muffins
Makes 1 dozen large muffins
1 lb. King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (without Xanthan Gum)
1 tsp salt
1 -1/4 tsp baking soda
1- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
6 oz. brown sugar
6 oz. white sugar
1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter, melted
1-1/3 cups sour cream
Gluten Free Streusel*
*from previous step
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place apples in a strainer and drain off the excess caramel. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt, soda, and xanthan.
Whisk together the sugars, melted butter, eggs, and sour cream. Add the dry mix to the wet. Add caramel apple pieces. Stir with a spoon until combined. Take large, heaping, well-rounded scoopfuls of batter and drop them in papered tins. Top with a generous tablespoon of streusel.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes in the tins before removing.
Warm some of the prepared caramel in a microwave safe bowl for 10-15 seconds, until just soft enough to drizzle.
When muffins are almost completely cooled, take a fork and dip it in the caramel and holding it about 8 inches above the muffins drizzle it back and forth over the muffins. Step back, admire your efforts, and eat!