Apple Spice Muffins with Walnut Streusel

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Fall is one of my favorite seasons in Savannah, and we love to load up on bushels of apples at our farmers’ market. Honeycrisp apples are Griff’s apple of choice, and they are perfect for this recipe. You can also use Pink Lady, Granny Smith, or any firm apple with a slightly tart taste. The angostura bitters add an herbal note that complements the flavor of the muffins.

Ingredients

For The Streusel

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 apples, preferably Honeycrisp, peeled, cored, and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon angostura bitters (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 cups unbleached (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray 12 standard muffin cups with nonstick spray or line with paper liners.

To make the streusel: In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, flour, and walnuts. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the crumbs are the size of peas. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice, angostura bitters, if using, and pepper. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter, oil, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid ingredients, and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the apple mixture, using as few strokes as possible; don’t overmix, or the muffins will be tough.

With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them approximately two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops generously with the streusel.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown. The tops should be firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Once the muffins are cool to the touch, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely; this prevents soggy bottoms. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days–or go ahead and eat the leftovers for dessert tonight.