an apple a day...

It's Autumn, which means time to say goodbye to sandals and swimsuits, and say hello to sweaters, cool scarves and of course, the bounty of the harvest. What October wouldn't be complete without a trip to a local orchard for fresh pressed cider, corn mazes and of course, bushels of apples?

So, the family is heading out this weekend to go apple-picking, which means that come Monday, my kitchen will be full to the brim with the smell of apples, cinnamon and fresh pastry. To set the mood, here's a classic Autumn morning treat that's sure to fill your kitchen (and your tummy) with warm apple goodness:

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

(yields 16 small muffins)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chilled butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 large apple, peeled & diced
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

In a bowl, blend flour, sugar, baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until mixture is the texture of coarse meal. (Speedy hint: use a food processor!)
Measure out 1/4 cup of mixture. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and brown sugar and set aside for the topping.
Add apple and walnuts to remaining mixture. In a separate bowl, beat egg, then add milk. Blend well. Add to flour mixture, stirring until just blended. Don't worry if the batter is thick and lumpy - it's supposed to be!
Spoon batter into greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Sprinkle topping lightly over batter & bake in a preheated 425F oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Cool, remove from pan and enjoy!

Sweets by Ally