I have made this recipe two ways; as written and with some slight changes. I'm rating this recipe a 4 as written and a 5 with my changes. If you make the recipe as written, you will end up with a great muffin. However, for the purpose of a morning muffin, it was a bit too sweet for me. I will outline my changes below which I feel take this great recipe to the next level.
1. I cut the sugar in half to 3/4 cup. I do 1/4 cup brown sugar and 2/4 cup white sugar. This is the perfect amount of sweetness and the tops of the muffins come out slightly crunchy and caramelized.
2. In addition to the cinnamon, I add a couple dashes of nutmeg. The hint of nutmeg plays off the cinnamon so well and really enhances the overall flavor of the muffin.
3. I use 2 medium sized apples. I use granny smith or fuji.
4. Instead of 1 cup vegetable oil I use 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. The coconut oil adds flavor and 1/2 cup is the perfect amount of oil. The applesauce helps to lighten the texture of the muffin a bit and keeps them moist.
5. Every time I have made these they require an extra 4 minutes of bake time for a total of 24 minutes.
6. I sprinkle rolled oats on top of the muffins.
7. If you use muffin cup liners, the muffins do tend to stick to them. For a perfect muffin you should ideally omit the muffin liner but they are enjoyable either way.
8. DO NOT omit the walnuts. The crunch of the walnuts is an important texture element.
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I have made this recipe two ways; as written and with some slight changes. I'm rating this...