The ultimate Spring muffins.
This weekend right here, the days between Fat Thursday and Fat Tuesday, is a time many people patiently wait for all year. Maybe some aren’t as patient, who knows, maybe some don’t even care… but one thing is clear – the country is ridden with doughnuts right now, as is my freezer and… my belly.
I’ve eaten more doughnuts this week than I want to admit and I’m not even sorry. Well, I won’t lie, I’ve had some not so nice thoughts and realizations about my doughnut consumption, but how does one resist a freshly fried doughnut? Especially when a doughnut stand is practically hiding behind every corner. You just can’t, right??
But as I said, I’m not really sorry, because I rarely eat doughnuts outside of this season. What I do have more often are muffins. Still not on the regular, but they definitely make an appearance more often than doughnuts do.
What I love about muffins the most is that they’re really easy to throw together and then depending on what I’ve put in them, they can be eaten for breakfast or for dessert.
These raspberry glazed toasted hazelnut apple muffins are the dessert type, although if you skip the raspberry glaze they could become a breakfast thing too. But let’s leave the super healthy stuff for some other time.
Because today we really need to talk about these sweet little pink apple muffins. I absolutely love to bake with apples. They’re a lot like bananas and you can make everything from bread and muffins to pancakes and oatmeal with them.
I use both grated and chopped apples in these raspberry glazed toasted hazelnut apple muffins and they add a lot of bulk and flavor to the batter, which you’ll fall in love with. If apple chunks aren’t your cup of tea, then you can always use only grated apples, which are more hidden but still give you that apple flavor.
If apples are my favorite thing about these muffins, then the toasted hazelnuts are my second. And if you haven’t noticed by now, you should know that I’m a big, huge fan of toasted hazelnuts. Raw hazelnuts are pretty bland, but toasted are a whole different story and they completely transform the flavor of a muffin and take it to another level. They’re insanely aromatic.
And then comes the raspberry glaze. As mentioned it’s completely optional and you could skip it, but you really should give it a try. The base is a classic sugar glaze that is flavored and dyed with raspberry powder, which gives the glaze a light raspberry flavor and the most beautiful color. You can try other berries too as I find that any berry works really well with apples and hazelnuts.
Honestly, the color is the first thing that always gets me with these raspberry glazed toasted hazelnut apple muffins. They’re just so pretty! However, they are really good too. Next to apples and raspberries, they’re also hiding orange juice in them, which makes them so fruity. They’re also dense and soft, while still slightly crunchy thanks to the hazelnuts and apples.
These muffins remind me of an early Spring walk in the park, as they’re cozy but fresh, warm and crisp at the same time.
Raspberry glazed toasted hazelnut apple muffins
Fruity, crunchy muffins that make a great dessert!
Recipe makes 12 small muffins.
- 120g (4 oz | roughly 1 cup) raw hazelnuts
- 1 large egg
- zest of 1 large orange
- 80ml (1/3 cup) fresh orange juice (from 1 large orange)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 60g (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour, sifted
- 70g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 100g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 60g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
- 1 small apple, cored and diced
- 1 small apple, grated
- 80g (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
- 1-2 tablespoons raspberry powder
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and place rack in the center. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners or grease with oil / cooking spray. Set aside.
- First toast the hazelnuts: Place hazelnuts in a small pan lined with parchment paper. Toast hazelnuts in the oven for about 10 minutes, until they’re fragrant. Remove from oven, let cool, then chop finely.
- Then make the batter:
Beat egg in a medium bowl, just until frothy. Stir in orange zest, juice, and vanilla. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, sugar and stir until combined. Grate in the frozen butter and stir with a fork, so that the mixture looks crumbly. Fold in the chopped and grated apples. Then stir in the egg mixture. Lastly, fold in the chopped hazelnuts. The batter will be really thick, but that’s how you want it!
- Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Place muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool for about 15 minutes, then remove them from the tin. Once completely cool, make the raspberry glaze:
In a small bowl whisk powdered sugar with milk, until the mixture looks like a sauce. Add the raspberry powder (adjust the amount until you get the color that you want). Dip each muffin into the glaze and let it dry completely. Dip again for a more intense color and thicker glaze. Let dry before serving.
- Store muffins covered in the fridge for up to 2 days, or up to 4 days if you’ve made them without the glaze.
If you can’t find raspberry powder, buy freeze-dried raspberries instead and grind them yourself using your blender. Sift the ground berries with a fine-mesh sieve so that you don’t end up having chunks of berries in your glaze.
If you don’t have whole wheat flour, use all-purpose flour instead.
Recipe inspired by apple muffins from Maida Heatther’s Cakes.