Monday, March 7, 2011

Muffin Madness: Toffee Apple Muffins

While I did my study abroad in Ireland I frequented a coffee shop on the UCD campus called Insomnia which had the best Toffee Apple Muffins. I craved those muffins. When my brother came to visit I was really excited to introduce him to these muffins. Forget the historic sites of Ireland, Book of What? I need a muffin. The day came and Insomnia was out of muffins, which caused me much distress, so I wandered Dublin with my brother in search of other Insomnia shops for far too long. It actually shouldn’t have been difficult as one block in Dublin has two such shops, but my sense of the city wasn’t so good. My hunger-induce hallucinations didn’t help either.

At any rate, these were were muffins I was willing to go out of my way for. Since I’ve returned I’ve been searching for toffee apple muffins and to my dismay none have appeared. In honor of Muffin Madness, it became time to make them myself.

Since my last batch was a not as successful as I would have liked, I decided to play it safe with these guys and only slighly adapt a recipe. Once again my copy of 500 Best Muffins proved invaluable and I adapted the basic apple muffin recipe. These ones turned out very tasty with soft toffee and sweet apples. Andy (the Official Muffin Taster) ate 2 mini muffins and demanded I take the rest to work, lest he eat them all.

Not quite toffee, just melted butter, sugar and lots of stirring.

The end product! Delicious, buttery toffee.

Toffee Apple Muffins
Makes a dozen and 3 mini muffins (if you so choose)

First, some notes: Andy made the toffee for us, which is quite simple to do. Take equal parts sugar, butter, a little salt and put on low heat. Stir, stir, stir! One everything gets up to 300 degrees F, pour it out into a greased pan with tin foil and let cool. Before it’s all cool score it into squares to break apart later. Also, I think more baking powder will improve the shape and fluffiness of the muffins, so I’m increasing it. And my streusel topping managed to slide right off and onto the pan, so I’m altering it a bit so that won’t be an issue.

2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
⅛ tsp nutmeg
2 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbs butter, melted
1 diced apple (you can peel it if you want, I’m not into that. If you want to dice ahead of time, mix apple chunks with lemon juice to prevent browning)
¾ cup toffee crushed (it was about 1 cup uncrushed with lots of empty space, just put toffee chunks into a plastic zip bag, think of something that makes you angry and smack the bag with a pan! It’s a lot of fun)

⅓ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Make a well in the center.
  2. In smaller bowl beat eggs. Whisk in milk, vanilla and melted butter. Pour mixture into dry ingredients. Add apple and toffee and stir carefully together.
  3. Mix together cinnamon and brown sugar for the topping.
  4. Pour batter into paper lined muffin tin (you’ll appreciate having the paper cups later), fill about to the top. Sprinkle with the topping, saving any extra for yourself.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, turning once.


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