Apple Butter Muffnuts

oh, muffnuts. Let me sing your sugary praises. So donutty. So muffiny.  I’ve been thinking about these since the first time I made them about a month ago.  They were amazing but, as I pondered what to do with a big batch of apple butter I’d made, I thought maybe the two were meant for each other.

 

 

As before, the dough came together in a snap and was thick and amazing.  With the extra heavy application of cooking spray, they baked up with a great looking crust and slightly darker than the original version–probably because of the added apple butter.
Then it was time to brush with butter and roll in the cinnamon and sugar.  I didn’t change anything about this step from the original recipe.  My son could barely contain his little muffnut-stealing hands.

 

When I first tried them when they were warm, I was sadly underwhelmed.  The cinnamon and sugar overwhelmed the little bit of apple flavor from the apple butter.  However, they improved as they cooled and the apple started to shine even up against the heavy coating.  If you ever had the great north-midwestern experience of having cinnamon cake donuts with fresh apple cider, these will taste very familiar.

I’m not going to say I’ll never make the plain version again but, if I have my apple butter laying around, I’ll probably opt for this version.

I made just a couple of substitutions to accommodate the apple butter in the recipe:

 

Makes 12

2 3/4 cups (13 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 cup (7 ounces) sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup of Apple Butter

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs

COATING

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together in bowl. Whisk buttermilk, melted butter, apple butter and eggs together in separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just combined.

Scoop batter into prepared tin. Bake until doughnuts are lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 19 to 22 minutes. Let doughnuts cool in tin for 5 minutes.

Whisk sugar and cinnamon together in bowl. Remove doughnuts from tin. Working with 1 doughnut at a time, brush all over with melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar, pressing lightly to adhere. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve.

Apple Butter

It is FINALLY fall–more specifically, October. October–the best month of the year! Cool weather, Halloween, changing leaves, and MY BIRTHDAY! Its also time for amazing apples! I grabbed a large bag last time I was at the store and, true to type, came home to find a large drawer of them still in my fridge. I was up early one day anyway so I broke out the slow cooker and started up a batch of Apple Butter.

6.5 pounds of apples: peeled, cored, and sliced.

Combine with cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and white sugar in your slow cooker.  Set to low for 10 hours.

Wait.  That doesn’t look like apple butter.  You’ll need to use a stick blender or (like I did) work this in batches through your blender.  Then, put it back in the slow cooker and continue to cook with the lid ajar for several more hours (or you can do this on the stove top) until the apple butter is the consistency you like.  This could take 1-2 hours or another 6 like mine did.

Eat with everything.  Muffins, biscuits, pretzels.  Or just a spoon.

Apple Butter

6.5 pounds of apples–variety of your choice.  I used honeycrisp and a couple of fujis.

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

Peel and core the apples and combine with the spices in the slow cooker.  Cook on high for 10 hours, puree, then return to a pot (either the slow cooker with the lid ajar or a large pot on the stovetop).  Simmer until you reach the consistency you like.