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.