Apple cider donuts are a big thing in Vermont around this time of year. Weekends are spent at your local orchard picking apples, and indulging in fresh, right out of the fryer, melt in your mouth, cider donuts. A little something to warm and revitalize you after an afternoon spent outside enjoying the crisp fall air.
Now, deep-fat frying is a kitchen skill that I have never attempted to master, and in consideration to my waist-line and heart health, plan to forgo mastering. So I was delighted, a few years ago, when I came across this recipe for apple cider donut muffins. It is a great way to repurpose the flavors of the tangy, nutmeg studded, cider cake donut.
- 2 cups Apple Cider
- 1/2 cup Butter + 2 tbsp Butter
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 1/4 cups Flour
- 1 1/4 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg (I grate an entire nutmeg)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- Cinnamon Sugar for dusting (4 parts sugar for 1 part cinnamon)
- Put 2 cups sweet apple cider in a large a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid reduces to 1 cup. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF (~190.5 C).
- Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line the tins with cupcake wrappers.
- Cream together ½ cup butter and ¾ cup sugar until fluffy.
- Add 2 eggs, one at a time.
- Add 2 tsp vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl whisk together 2 ¼ cups flour, 1 ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt.
- Gently fold in a third of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter.
- Fold in one half of the reduced cider.
- Gently fold in another third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the cider, and finally the last of the dry ingredients. As is the general rule with muffins, you do not want to over mix.
- Scoop batter into the muffin tin.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes.
- Remove and let cool for ten minutes.
- Melt the 2 tbsp of butter.
- Brush the tops of the baked muffins with the melted butter.
- Dust the tops with the cinnamon sugar. The melted butter and slightly warm muffins will allow the cinnamon sugar to stick and form a slightly crunchy crust.
Recipe adapted from Yankee magazine September 2014.