You’ve been to the orchard – what a great time you had!  Pumpkins, cider, hay rides, hot chocolate, corn mazes, and of course, apples.  And now you’re home with more apples than you know what to do with.  Sounds like me.  How about you?

Well, it’s high time you make these Apple Cinnamon Maple Streusel Muffins to use up a few of those apples.  They combine the sweet goodness of baked apples with hearty oats and the outrageous flavor of butterscotch chips.  Yum. Yum. and Yum.  I added some maple streusel to the tops of the muffins for a little extra crunch and all in all, they couldn’t have been more perfect.  I whipped them up on Halloween morning and since the batch yields 18, we had breakfast and snacks through yesterday – does it get any better than when you can stretch perfection out for 5 days?

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Apple Cinnamon Maple Streusel Muffins
source: adapted from Sugar Plum, via Annie’s Eats

2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
¾ cup butterscotch chips
¾ cup chopped apples

For the streusel topping (optional):
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp brown sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line the wells of two muffin pans with paper liners (about 18 liners total).  Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix lightly with a fork to blend.  Stir in the oats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Beat in the applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and beating just until incorporated.  Fold in the butterscotch chips and apples with a rubber spatula.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, syrup, and brown sugar until combined.  It will likely be thick and clumpy but that’s what you want.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups (a large cookie/ice cream scoop works great for this).  If desired, divide the streusel topping between each muffin cup.  Bake about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: about 18 muffins

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