I rarely make dessert. I have no resistance to temptation. The office bought a Costco box of Cheez-its and I swear I alone have eaten half of it. (Allison and I share the Cheez-it addiction, a bond from our days as college roommates.) But I am also a believer in new experiences, and I recently discovered to my dismay that in all my 23 years I have never once enjoyed fall. I was too busy with assignments, papers, and exams to notice the weather change or to take advantage of the many fall activities which smack of Norman Rockwell and Americana at its best. This realization of my own drab existence led to several trips to a corn maze, a wine-tasting, and–last but not least–an apple orchard, all of which were extraordinary except for one thing.
Apples. Fourteen pounds of them. One can only have so many apple crisps (the extent of my apple recipe knowledge). And one can only have so many desserts. Thus, the last two weeks have been an exploration of the many facets of the apple, and I have so far cooked apples with 3 different cuts of meat, in 2 desserts, in 2 sides, and 1 soup. The Hubbymine has yet to cry uncle.
Here is dessert #2 (because, yes, #1 was an apple crisp):
Heat 2 cups of milk in the microwave until it is lukewarm. Add 1 tablespoon of yeast and 1/3 cup of sugar. Make sure the milk is not too hot or you will kill the yeast! Stir the concoction and let it sit for a few minutes for the yeast to prep.
Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 cups of flour. Beat it well. Add 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of butter, melted. Once these ingredients are combined, slowly add the rest of the flour, beating the batter the whole time.
Now you have a sticky dough. Put a lot of flour on your counter and roll the dough out. I probably added at least another half cup of flour to the dough while I was kneading it, maybe more. Don’t spare the dough. It will become soft and super elastic – the more you knead, the softer it becomes. I probably spent 5-8 minutes on this step.
Place the dough in a bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rise for 40 minutes. Remember to keep it warm!
Brush it with 1/4 cup melted butter.
In a separate bowl mix 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons cinnamon, 1 cup chopped walnuts, and 2 cups chopped apples. Spread the apple mixture onto the dough.
Now roll the dough up!
Cut the dough into 2” blocks and stuff them into muffin tins. Don’t forget liners!
Let the dough rise another 40 minutes.
Brush the tops of the cupcakes with melted butter and bake them at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
After the cupcakes have cooled, drizzle them with a glaze made of 1 cup powdered sugar and about 2 tablespoons of apple cider. Add the cider slowly, as you may need less liquid. Do not forget to sift the sugar before adding it to the cider. I did, and it took forever to get the lumps out! Also, cold cider maker glaze thicken faster. My warm cider glaze dripped everywhere.
But that just meant I ate more of it.
Here’s the summary:
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon yeast
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
6 ½ cups flour
¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup loosely chopped walnuts, toasted
2 cups finely chopped apples
Apple Cider Glaze –
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider
1. Heat the milk in a the microwave until lukewarm. Dissolve yeast and sugar.
2. Mix in two cups of flour and the salt and beat until well-mixed. Add the softened butter and eggs. Once these ingredients are incorporated, slowly mix in the rest of the flour, adding a little bit at a time.
3. Knead dough on a well-floured surface for 5-8 minutes then let rise under a towel in a warm place for 40 minutes.
4. Roll dough into a rectangle and brush with melted butter.
5. Mix filling ingredients and spread them on dough, leaving a border.
6. Roll the dough into a log. Cut it into 2″ wide pieces and place them in lined muffin tins.
7. Let dough rise for another 40 minutes before brushing muffin tops with more melted butter and baking them at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
8. Mix glaze and drizzle over cooled cupcakes.