Sunday, January 9, 2011

Apple Cheddar Muffins

My friend gave me The Colonial Williamsburg Tavern Cookbook and I've enjoyed looking through the recipes and recalling many fond memories of our trips to Williamsburg, Virginia. This particular recipe was inspired by one in the book and is a large savory muffin, with just a touch of sweetness from the apples. It makes a wonderful snack by itself, one would be great with a steaming bowl of soup or they would be the perfect side dish for a ham or BBQ dinner. As a variation, I made one batch with smoked cheddar and the smokiness of the cheese was reminiscent of bacon, although these are meat-free. Whether you use regular sharp or smoked cheese, these muffins will not last long when a crowd is around!

Apple Cheddar Muffins
(Makes 12 servings)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons Splenda granular
2 large eggs
1 cup light sour cream
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
½ cup reduced fat sharp cheddar, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir with a fork to break up any lumps in the mixture; set aside.

3. With a handheld or standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the Splenda and continue beating until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add sour cream and beat until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just moistened. Fold in the chopped apples and cheese.

4. Divide batter evenly into the twelve muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, and then remove to wire rack. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes and serve. Store any leftovers in an air tight container at room temperature. These muffins are best eaten warm, so it is suggested to reheat in 300-degree oven for 5-8 minutes before serving leftovers.

Nutritional Information per muffin: 188.3 calories, 16.5 g carbohydrate, 11.2 g total fat, 4.2 g saturated fat, 120 mg. sodium, 1.6 g fiber, 6.1 g protein.

Adapted by Kathy Sheehan from the recipe "King's Arms Tavern Apple Cheddar Muffins" (page 157) in the book The Colonial Williamsburg Tavern Cookbook, published by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, copyright 2001.

How does this recipe compare to the original? This recipe is lower in calories, has significantly fewer carbs, less saturated fat, less sodium, plus more fiber and more protein. For comparison, the nutritional information for one muffin made with the original recipe is 204 calories, 25 g carbohydrate, 9.5 g total fat, 5.4 g saturated fat, 166 mg sodium, 0.8 g fiber and 5 g protein.