Caramel Apple Muffins

I’ve been half jokingly telling some folks I follow on Twitter that I am going to have parental controls installed on my computer that will block me from seeing the wonderous things they are making with butter, sugar, and flour.  Because anymore, I feel like I gain 5 pounds by just turning on the pc and going through my reader.

So I do try and be deliberate about what recipes I print out and bring home.  And I try to have a strategy outlined as to how the baked goods will exit our house as quickly as possible to limit my opportunities to overindulge.  Typically, this plan involves coworkers.  They bear the brunt of my sugary obsession.  But recently, the Universe presented me with the opportunity to share my compulsion to ‘bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean’ with my neighbors.  I’ll set the scene for you.

The Mistah and I had gone out to grab some dinner.  There may have been tater tots and chocolate malted milkshakes involved.  Then again, there may not have.  You’d have to have been on Twitter that night to know for sure.  And while we were out, someone hit my car parked back at home.  How do I know this?  Because a neighbor came knocking on our door at 10pm to ask whether the car parked under the street lamp was ours.  When we confirmed that it was, she proceeded to explain how earlier the car had been hit not once, not twice, but three times by another driver.  This outrageousness had been witnessed by several folks and they managed to record the tag number of the driver before she fled the scene.  Because you know that driver did not leave a note.

So the neighbors see everything that happens, they get the tag number.  And they called the police to report the hit and run.  In a million years, I would never have seen that one coming.  Using the information provided by the witnesses, the officer matched the tag number with a person and went and paid her a little visit.  And so it was that when this neighbor came over to let us know that our car had been hit and I went outside to inspect the damage, I found the card the officer had left with all of the information about the driver that I would need to file a claim.

Really.  I can call my insurance company and let them know which of Allsate’s customers is going to be funding the new side panel and hood on my car.  This had to be thanked and rewarded because I really think most people would have turned a blind eye to the whole thing.  So I decided that the appropriate way to say thanks was with butter, sugar, flour, apples, and caramel.  Because I wanted to make Caramel Apple Muffins.  I just did not want to be left alone with them.

So that’s what I did.  I made muffins.  I had some challenges.  I may have had a failed experiment in using a food processor to chop caramel candies.  I may have had to clean scorched batter and topping off of pans and pizza stones.  But I was able to go knocking on a couple of doors and use Caramel Apple Muffins to say thank you.

I can’t guarantee that if you look out for your neighbors one of them will show up on your doorstep with some freshly baked muffins.  But it sure as hell can’t hurt your chances either.

Caramel Apple Muffins

Adapted from Sugarcrafter.net

BAH Note: It was a huge pain to chop up the caramels.  I wonder what would happen if you just nestled a whole caramel in each muffin cup?  Also, I made the mistake of overfilling my muffin cups.  So when the batter rose I ended up with a mix of batter and topping scorching on the pan and dripping down onto my pizza stone.  My point?  Don’t overfill.  After the baking was done, I was tweeting with @Sugarcrafter and we decided that this would be great as a cake with some brown sugar icing.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and diced (between 1/2 cup and 1 cup)
  • 12 caramels, chopped
  • 1/ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and coat a muffin pan well with nonstick spray.

Combine the brown sugar, oats, 3 tablespoons butter, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.

In a second bowl mix together the milk, egg, 1/4 cup butter, and vanilla.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until everything is just combined.  Fold the caramel and apple into the batter.

Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full and top with the brown sugar mixture.

Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes before carefully turning them out onto a wire rack to cool.

{printable recipe}

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49 Responses to Caramel Apple Muffins

  1. Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) says:

    Those neighbors are keepers!!! And what a lovely way to say thank you – too bad it got so messy. I bet they tasted good enough to make it worth it!

    • Wendi says:

      Jennifer, if you knew my neighborhood, you’d understand how unexpected it was that anyone would actually do something. I could not let that go unacknowledged.

  2. Tracy says:

    Sweet story. Sorry about your car, though. Really nice to know that your neighbors are looking out for you. I’m sure they really appreciated the flour, butter and sugar :)

  3. These look lovely! I made a caramel apple cake (basically a Jewish Apple Cake w/ a caramel kicker) and what I do is in the middle put a layer of melted caramel and on the top the same…that way I don’t have the mess/trouble you were referring to, hope that helps :) Sorry about your car…but I have to share that 3 times in my life my car has been hit pretty good while I was not in it (work/shopping) and 2 of the 3…they left a note, sometimes people ARE what we expect of them :)

    • Wendi says:

      I did think about swirling in some melted caramel or just putting a whole caramel in the center of the muffin.

      Yes, sometimes people do the right thing. And the funny thing is how surprising it is to me…when did I become so jaded?

  4. Dinetonite says:

    Oh yum!!!! I could eat my screen right now! I was just telling Aubrey I wanted to make a stuffed french toast with apples, but this oh my!

  5. Kelly says:

    These sound marvelous. I can’t wait to try them. If only my weather would get a little cooler I would be in the perfect mood to bake.

    FYI..I can’t remember the brand but last year I found carmels for baking. They are little round pellets that are easy to use and melt. :) It might be Kraft or Nestle but Walmart and HEB had them with the chocolate chips and sometimes around the apples in the produce section.

    • Wendi says:

      Kelly, I will have to keep my eyes open for the caramel bits. Something like that would have made this recipe much easier. I hope when the mood to bake strikes you you’ll keep these muffins in mind.

  6. Lan says:

    this is such a great great story! leaves you all feeling warm/fuzzy inside. and those muffins just look so delectable, i don’t blame you for wanting to make them but still be cautious about consuming them!

    • Wendi says:

      Lan, I feel even warmer and fuzzier not having to pay the $2,000 it will take to fix the damage to my car.

      These muffins need some kind of warning label, because they are delish.

  7. Lucky for you that your neighbors are so astute! I think this is a perfect thing to express gratitude!

    • Wendi says:

      Kitch, just imagine what a wonderful world it would be if everyone said thank you with Caramel Apple Muffins!

      Congrats on your weekly feature over at From The Monkey Bars.

  8. omawarisan says:

    I don’t know how that could have worked out better for you if your car had to get hit 3 times.

    PS, how in the world did she do that?

    • Wendi says:

      Omawarisan, my understanding is that the driver was higher than a kite as she tried to back out of her space. I guess it’s lucky that the only thing she damaged was a parked car. I shudder to think of the million other ways it could have been worse.

  9. kathy says:

    THREE times? And was this on your anniversary? (“tater tots and chocolate malted milkshakes” makes me wonder)

    God bless good neighbors. Last time I tried to be one, by calling my neighbor to say that her husband’s car lights had been on for the better part of an hour, she acted like I was bothering her. So I was gratified when he finally dragged himself outside and couldn’t start the car.

    • Wendi says:

      Oh yes Kathy, this is how the Universe congratulated my on anniversary. I have to believe that people want to do the right thing but a lot of times we get in our own way. I also have to believe the Universe gives people who can’t be bothered what they deserve…like your neighbor and the dead battery. I know that doesn’t make me gracious, I just hope it doesn’t make me blackhearted, small, or petty.

  10. I enjoyed your blog today. Very cute… These caramel apple muffins do look divine!

    • Wendi says:

      Nancy, thanks for stopping by. I need to go check out your skinnified chicken pot pie. Especially if I intend to keep eating things like caramel apple muffins!

  11. I wanted to make these as soon as I saw them on Tracy’s site! They look delicious!

    PS-I once had someone hit and run my car and a neighbor told me. We were able to chase the guy down and he finally paid for it. And this was all during our Christmas Party when we had 25+ people at our house. So I feel your pain!

    • Wendi says:

      Beth, I have told Tracy that I’m going to have to stop looking at Sugarcrafter because I fall in love with everything she posts.

      Why do people think it’s cool to hit somebody’s car and just leave. I just don’t get that at all. Those people definitely will not be getting caramel apple muffins from me!

  12. liz2024 says:

    Thank god for good neighbors!!! I bet she loved them!!!

    but gosh some people in this city really don’t have manners. :-/

    • Wendi says:

      Elizabeth, from the way the whole thing has been described to me, I think I prefer not to have seen what happened. Because I think I would not have kept my composure in the face of some kid, stoned out of her mind, hitting my car. We might both have ended up in the pokey!

  13. Vanilla Bean Baker says:

    These look absolutely too good not to try sometime. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Wendi says:

      Vanilla Bean just don’t do what I did and overfill the muffin tins. Or at least remember to put them on a sheet pan or cookie sheet to catch anything that spills. I could have saved myself some serious scrubbing if only I would have done that.

  14. Napoleon, gimme some of your tots!

    Jerko driver aside, I’m glad your happy-turned-crappy-turned-happy again story panned out the way it did. It’s always nice to be unexpectedly surprised by a neighbor and I’m sure they were loving their baked rewards. From now on, I’m keeping a closer watch on the neighborhood and keeping my fingers cross that there’s a Wendi-type neighbor somewhere on my street.

    But seriously, gimme some of your muffins.

    • Wendi says:

      Ali, I’m sure your neighborhood has someone like me who will gladly sift, stir, and bake until golden brown for your enjoyment. I also have a habit of sharing goodies with the next door neighbors while we give out candy on halloween. One year it was homemade marshmallows, another it was matzoh crack, I’m not sure what this year will be.

  15. Ingrid says:

    These look wonderful!

  16. Mention caramel & muffins in the same breath & I just couldn’t say no to these Wendi.

    • Wendi says:

      Anna, make them at your own risk. Because their very presence in your kitchen will result in a gain of 5 pounds, regardless of whether or not you actually eat them all.

  17. Tracy says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the muffins, but I’m so sorry about your car! I’m glad your neighbors were looking out for you and that they were able to hold the person who did it responsible.

    I still want to try these with a whole caramel in each cup – sounds like a perfect modification! :-)

    • Wendi says:

      Tracy, I need to execute our Twitter plan for the snack cake version of this with Jen Schall’s frosting. Maybe that can be our second Thanksgiving dessert. Would be very easy to make the night before.

  18. Anne says:

    Oh my gosh! Kudos to those neighbors! Sorry to hear about your car.

  19. Oh man these hurt they look so good!!! :)

  20. Jen W. says:

    Wendi, so sorry about your car. You have great neighbors though! Also, using a whole caramel in the muffins sounds like a much easier way to use the candies. Let us know if you try it. And of course, these sound delicious!

  21. katie o. says:

    Hit and run? Three times? That’s insane! Now you know that you’ve got some pretty freaking awesome neighbors. ps. can I be your neighbor? and if so, can you bring some muffins over my way? :)

    • Wendi says:

      Actually, she hit me three times trying to get out of her parking space. Katie,if you were my neighbor I would be dropping off all sorts of baked treats. As it is, I give you the virtual version of them.

  22. this muffins look amaizing:) thank you for sharing this.

  23. Erin says:

    I discovered your blog thanks to the Mobbies! These cupcakes look decadent. I can’t wait to make them. Have you tried the new Kraft Caramel Bits? They’re little balls of caramel – no need to chop the squares. I’ll give them a go when I make the recipe and see how it works. Yum!

    • Wendi says:

      Erin, thanks for checking me out. I’m discovering great local bloggers thanks to the Mobbies. If only I had known about the Caramel Bits, I could have saved myself about 30 minutes of frustration.

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