I am so happy with this recipe! It’s definitely a winner! I really wanted to bake something that involved apples, cinnamon, pecans (it’s Fall after all!), very ripe bananas, and muffins. I really wanted a muffin that tasted and looked like it belonged in the Fall season. So, after I was done baking these apple banana muffins, drizzling them with dulce de leche (a type of caramel sauce), and, finally, sprinkling them with chopped pecans, I stepped back, looked at them and was very pleased! I achieved what I wanted, don’t you think? These muffins look like Fall!
They surely taste like a Fall treat, too. Stuffed to the brink with chopped apples, spiced up with cinnamon, and topped with pecans, these muffins combine some of my most favorite flavors! I just had one with a cup of hot tea – oh, what a comfort!
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Another great thing about these muffins is that they are low-fat. I am using only 5 tablespoons of butter to make 12 regular size muffins! To compensate, I am adding mashed bananas and Greek yogurt. As a result, the muffins are moist and airy (not dense) – I couldn’t get a better result! I am really happy with my muffins!
I’ve made them with 2 different kinds of apples. For the first batch, I used very tart and crisp Granny Smith apples. For my second batch, I chopped up very sweet and also very crisp Fuji apples. Using either variety of apples yielded excellent yet different results! If you like your muffins really-really sweet – go ahead and use a sweeter variety of apples. If you like a bit of tartness, use very tart Granny Smiths – after baking in the oven, they will soften and sweeten anyway, leaving a just a touch of tartness behind.
I drizzled these muffins with my homemade dulce de leche because for me it’s easier to make dulce de leche than to make caramel sauce. Please try for yourself ! You can also drizzle these with just a touch of a regular caramel sauce, if you like. And don’t forget to top them with chopped pecans!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter on high speed for 1.5 minutes. The consistency will be somewhat crumbly. Add eggs and continue beating for several more minutes until the mixture becomes fluffy and lighter in color.
Add mashed bananas, Green yogurt, and vanilla extract and continue beating until all ingredients are well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix. Fold in chopped apples.
Grease muffin pan. Fill each muffin cup almost to the top (about 3/4). Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch baking times closely: do not overbake and keep in mind that the “actual” individual oven temperatures might vary. When inserted toothpick comes out clean – the muffins are ready!
Warm dulce de leche in a microwave for 5-10 seconds. Using small spoon, drizzle some dulce de leche over the top of each muffin. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.