Apple Butter Bran Muffins

Apple Butter Bran MuffinsAh Fall.  This time of year, on blogs especially, everyone is raving about how much they love cooler weather, how excited they are for this time of year (i.e. the beginning of ‘The Holidays’) and how wonderful it is to be able to indulge in Pumpkin Spice Lattes again.  Don’t deny it.  You were one of those people posting pics to Facebook while in the Starbucks drive thru, weren’t you?  I know.  Its all good.  I am right there with ya.  Except not on the whole coffee thing because I am still nursing, but I would be if I could.  Except for me it will be a decaf Peppermint Mocha.  Um num nahm num.  *drool drool*

But I digress…

My point is, at the risk of sounding, well, like everyone else, this really is my favorite time of the year.  It always has been.  When I lived in San Diego, I didn’t crave snow at Christmas, but I desperately wished I could bundle up in a sweatshirt, blue jeans, a stout pair of boots, and a tote a thermos of hot chocolate while the brisk air turns the end of my nose red.  Attractive I know, but THAT is what I wait for all year.  And even though, as a foodie, I love the produce and bounty of the warmer months the most when it comes to my kitchen, it is autumn that my heart belongs too.  The smells that waft from a kitchen in fall are unlike any others and these muffins contribute to that.  Also, most of my wardrobe is in earth tones so I am much more fashionable after Labor Day…

Apple butter is what makes these muffins stand out, giving them a sweet spiciness that sets them apart.  They are healthy and super good for your heart and your scarf and boot clad bod.  They somehow go perfectly with every hot drink in creation (I know.  I’ve tried.) and they make the perfect snack or breakfast for this time of year.  And yes, while baking, will make your house smell beyond amazing.  Throw in a latte and you just won’t be able to stand it.
Apple Butter Bran MuffinsOne Year Ago: Baja Fish Tacos, Double Chocolate Banana Bread & Pumpkin Pie Muffins

Apple Butter Bran Muffins
Idea from Eating Well
Of course, these freeze great.  I recommend a double batch.

In a large bowl:
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1/2 c apple butter
1/3 c brown sugar or raw sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c molasses
Mix until completely incorporated.  Add:
3/4 c wheat bran
3/4 c white whole wheat flour or whole wheat flour
3/4 c white flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
Fold ingredients gently, just until incorporated.  Add:
1/2 c raisins
1/3 c chopped walnuts

Fold very gently just until mixed.  Pour into greased or lined muffin cups (it seems to make exactly 10 every time I make these) and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a crumb or two.