muffintopI found this vintage photo on ebay.   It brings new meaning to the phrase “buttoned up.”  Honestly, though, after the recent holidays, I can’t talk.  But —  I’m sure as heck not buttoning up my sweater.

That mighty muffin top inspires me to make — you guessed it — muffins!  Which also gives me the perfect reason to use the thoughtful gift I received from my daughter for Christmas — a beautiful ceramic muffin pan, with a matching tea towel and oven mitt from Anthropologie (I pretty  much covet everything in their kitchen section):


Almost too pretty to use

She even picked out a recipe for me to try.  And she picked a good one.  These muffins make good use of the bounty of apples available right now.  They’re very dense and moist, and were especially good warm (like most muffins).

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ butter, melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • For the topping:
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners (12 muffin cups).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Place egg and brown sugar in a large bowl, and beat together using an electric mixer, until well blended. Gradually beat in the butter and sour cream. Stir in half of the flour mixture, add the milk, and then add the remaining flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in the diced apples.
  3. Divide batter between muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pans briefly, then remove to a rack.
  4. When muffins are cool enough to handle, pour melted butter into a small bowl. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in another small bowl. Dip the top of each muffin in butter and then press it into the cinnamon sugar mixture until generously coated. (Because I used very tall muffin liners, I didn't dip the muffins, but instead, brushed the tops with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.)


Ready for the oven


Lightly golden, and smelling wonderful


Dressed with butter and cinnamon sugar


An apple muffin a day keeps the doctor away (girl can dream, can’t she?)