So I just created a recipe. Like, a muffin recipe. I worked it out in my own little brain and I made it and it's pretty darn delicious.
Shock. Awe. Amazement.
Apple Pecan Muffins, with a Salted Caramel Drizzle.
they didn't come out perfectly. They're a bit moister than I'd like, although that can be adjusted either by baking longer or by adding a touch more flours. I'm pretty confident. Plus, I could have created a drier applesauce by not ignoring the author's indications regarding the right amount of water to go into the saucepan with the apples. I need to not get over-confident. I need to remember that I don't know how to intuitively make everything. Like applesauce. Also, I should probably research apples to see which ones hang onto themselves a little bit better while cooking, because McIntosh and Gala are went to mush. And I probably should have held out a little longer while making the caramel drizzle. I pulled it before it got the right color, so it just looks shiny atop the muffins, instead of caramel-y. But.... next time.
Howevs. Here is my recipe. Tweak if desired.
Step 1. Applesauce
I borrowed the particulars of this from the recipe in Bon Appetit for Chaussons aux Pommes (apple turnovers).
4 apples. I used 2 Gala and 2 McIntosh, feel free to pick your faves. Peel, core, and chop up into chunks. Put in a saucepot with 1/4cup of water. Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer until the apples are soft. Mash them with a potato masher. Let the applesauce cool.
Step 2. Pecans
I like roasted pecans. So I put them on a cookie sheet, and toasted them up in a 350 oven for a few minutes, then reserved them and let them cool too.
Step 3. Muffins
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease your muffin cups.
Put the following in your mixer's bowl:
1 3/4 cup applesauce
1 stick softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
Mix until everything is light and fluffy. If you have little bits of butter showing in the mixture, that's ok too, I had that.
Once everything is incorporated, add 3 eggs, one at a time. This bit is very wet, and there will be batter flinging all around regardless of how careful you are. Accept it. Scrub your walls.
While the Butter/Applesauce/Sugar are mixing together, in a separate bowl, combine the following:
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Mix these to combine.
Once all the wet ingredients are combined, take your mixer bowl off the stand, grab a spatula, and start adding in the dry ingredients a little at a time. Don't over-mix.... once you can't see the flour in the batter anymore, add some more. When you can stand your spatula up in the batter and it doesn't tip over, it's done.
Add the chopped up pecans. I probably added about a cup.
Depending on the type of apples you used, you may not need all the flour, and that's ok.
I used an ice cream scoop to get my batter into the muffin cups. These don't rise that much, so you can fill the cups right up to the top. You can totally use the paper liners if you want to, but you don't have to.
Bake them for 23 minutes, and then test by sticking a toothpick into the center of one. It probably won't come out clean. These took around 25 minutes for me. Maybe longer. Keep testing and adding on a minute or two. I wasn't watching the clock, sadly, as much as I was watching my caramel sauce. Cool them in the pans for about 10 minutes, and then take them out and cool them on a rack.
Step 5. Drizzle.
Make the Salted Caramel sauce:
1 cup of sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup.
Put those 3 into a pot, stir until the sugar is dissolved, and then cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Uncover and boil until the caramel is a golden amber color, shaking the pot to make sure it doesn't burn. When it's a golden amber color, remove it from the heat and amass the following ingredients:
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt.
After 30 seconds off the heat, add the cream to the caramel. This will bubble up, don't be scared. Be brave. mix in the cream, then add the butter and salt. It's delicious. Let it cool.
Once everything is cooled down, drizzle the caramel over the muffins (put the cooling rack over a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet) and let it sit for a few.
They're so good. I'm pretty satisfied. And I see the potential and it's infinitel I'm trying it with bananas and walnuts next. GET EXCITED!!!!