If you are ambitious and make pots of applesauce come autumn, be sure to save some to add to these muffins. Rich sour cream anchors the flavor, and my favorite apple pie spices give these beauties a winter holiday feel. Do not overwork the muffin batter or you will have a tough muffin; stir until the dry ingredients are just incorporated into the wet ingredients. If you don’t have fresh applesauce on hand, a good-quality store-bought brand will do just fine.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup applesauce, preferably homemade
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 10 pecan halves
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease 10 regular muffin cups or line them with paper liners.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir well and set aside.
3. In another bowl, beat the egg and the sugar together until well combined. Stir in the melted butter, sour cream, vanilla, and applesauce.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid, and stir with a woodern spoon until just combined. Stir in the chopped pecans.
5. Fill the muffin cups three-quarters full with batter. Top each muffin with a pecan half. Bake in the center of the oven until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out just clean, 20 minutes.
6. Cool the muffins in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then unmold them onto a rack to cool completely.