Combine apples and walnuts and you have a winning recipe. My husband says that “Colossal Apple & Walnut Muffins” are my best muffins yet! And this is a “one bowl’ recipe — easy to mix up. Eat them for breakfast with a cup of coffee or for a snack in the afternoon. The goal of this cooking session was to use some of the apples which I had dehydrated using my friend’s food dehydrator. For this recipe, I rehydrated the apple slices; they are still full of aromatic flavors. Yeah! I located a simple muffin recipe and added in the apples and walnuts. The muffins are dense and moist and sort of addictive. I baked them in a jumbo muffin tin; the recipe makes six colossal muffins.
A friend gifted me her no longer needed — but brand new — food dehydrator. I experimented with drying apples in the food dehydrator; it worked really well and now have dried apple slices. Unfortunately, my dehydrated apples are like beef jerky — leathery and chewy. I didn’t want to waste my effort in dehydrating the applies; so I got busy rehydrated some of them to use in cooked apple recipes. Here the flavor of the apples shine.
I adapted a recipe in the Allrecipes Magazine, “Fall Recipes 2022,” for my muffins. Although I used dried apples — fresh apples will work, too, just chop them finely. The recipe called for baking the batter using jumbo muffin tins, what fun!
Healthy Recipe Ingredients
In addition to apples, this recipe includes walnuts — one of my favorite nuts! Walnuts contain heart healthy unsaturated fats. Apples have fiber and anti-oxidants, too. I used soft margarine rather than butter in the recipe. (The struesel topping does contain butter.) Guilt-free muffins? Why, yes indeed.
I simplified the recipe to mix the batter in a “one bowl” process. Using self-rising flour (rather than all-purpose flour, baking powder, soda and salt) helps make things even more simple. Of course, you do need to rehydrate the dried apples and toast and chop the walnuts. Get them ready first. Then mixing up the muffins is so easy.
To rehydrate dried apples, cover them with water and let them sit in the refrigerator for six hours to overnight. Not difficult, just plan ahead.
I also toasted the walnuts in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees to bring out the aromatic flavor of the nuts. These whole walnuts needed to be chopped further — an easy task with a kitchen knife or small food chopper.
To make the recipe, add the liquid ingredients (melted margarine, sugars, vanilla extract) to a large bowl and mix with a wire whip to combine. Then add in the eggs and milk. Mix in the self-rising flour. Using a spatula, gently fold in the chopped walnuts and chopped apples.
Make sure to spray both the top of the muffiin tin and the cups of a six-cup jumbo muffin tin with PAM cooking spray or alternately use vegetable oil. These muffins overflow the tops of the cups. Portion the muffin batter into the cups.
Sprinkle on a struesel topping made by combining flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon. Bake.
Once baked, run a knife around the top edges and also loosen the bottoms of the cups, gently remove from the muffin tins. No need to ice these muffins, the struesel topping adds a little sweetness
These muffins make a very tasty fall snack. Delicious. They disappeared quickly! A great way to use all those dehydrated apples.
Ripe apples in autumn
Fall is the time when apples are at their peak — so many varieties are available. Get ready to use fresh apples in recipes. Several years ago, we went apple picking at an orchard in upstate New York. It was hard to stop picking apples!
Now, there — I had an excess of apples. Where was the food dehydrator back then?
Alas, no apple orchards here in Louisiana. We just don’t have the cold winters needed for apple trees to thrive. After living in MIchigan and visiting in upstate New York, I am spoiled. I love all the aromatic varieties of apples which are available in farmers markets and fresh apple cider squeezed right at the orchards. I see newer varieties of apples in our grocery stores — Jazz, Honey Crisp, Envy — and am learning to like them too.
This is a great muffin recipe for using autumn apples and walnuts. Enjoy!
Colossal Apple & Walnut Muffins
Ingredients for struesel topping:
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp butter, cut in small chunks
Ingredients for muffins:
- 2 cups dehydrated apples, loosely packed*
- 1 cup whole walnuts
- PAM cooking spray
- 1/2 cup margarine, melted
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
Method and Steps for strusel topping:
- In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar and ground cinnamon.
- Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut butter in to size of small peas.
- Set aside while making muffins.
Method and Steps for muffin’s:
- Rehydrate apples: Place dried apples In a shallow bowl and add water to cover. Cover bowl and refrigerate for six hours to overnight. Drain and chop rehydrated apples. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
- Toast walnuts: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts in a single on a baking sheet and toast for approximately 5 minutes. Do not let burn. Immediately transfer to a cutting board. Chop finely. Set aside. Can make ahead.
- Make muffins: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray top of muffin tin and wells generously with PAM cooking spray. (Alternately, generously oil the muffin tin cups with canola or vegetable oil.)
- Melt margarine in microwave oven for about 30 seconds. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the white and brown sugars and vanilla extract to melted margarine. Stir with wire whip until well mixed.
- Add eggs. Beat until well mixed.
- Add the milk and mix in.
- Add self-rising flour to the bowl and gently use wire whip to mix in.
- Add chopped rehydrated apples and toasted walnuts. Fold into batter using a rubber spatula.
- Portion batter into six prepared jumbo muffin tins. Batter will reach top of tins.
- Spinkle struesel topping over muffins.
- Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes until tops are brown and toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove and let cool to a warm temperature.
- To remove from muffin tin: Use a knife to run around top edge of muffin tin to loosen muffins and also loosen muffins in cups using a knife and/or spoon.
- Serve warm.
*NOTE: May substiture 2 cups of peeled, cored and finely chopped fresh apples.