Cheddar-Apple-Walnut Muffins Recipe

It’s always easy for me to embrace the official change of season when spring rolls around even if the weather is still wintry—“it’s spring!” When summer comes to an official end and the calendar reads, “First Day of Autumn,” that’s a little different story for my sandal-clad being to come to terms with. Don’t get me wrong; I do like the fall, it’s just, well, you know—it’s not summer anymore.

But, in addition to the glorious colors trees sport, a great thing about autumn is that it’s apple season. Apples are always delicious out-of-hand, and bake into a range of delicious goodies including muffins, which become a great treat for home or an easily transportable snack for work or school.

Unlike the mega-muffins with no flavor, these are compact and crunchy and rich with cheese and walnuts as well as tangy fruit, notes Regina Schrambling, who contributed this recipe to Real Food. You can make them sweeter if you like. Either way, they will hold up well at room temperature, and for a day or so if you leave them uncovered.

Cheddar-Apple-Walnut Muffins

Makes 12

12 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for muffin tin
12 c. sugar
2 large eggs
12 c. whole milk
212 c. flour
212 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher or sea salt
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 14-inch dice
12 c. grated sharp Cheddar
12 c. chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350°F. Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or use baking cup liners.

Combine the milk and eggs in a measuring cup or bowl and beat the eggs lightly. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a second bowl.

Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in half the milk mixture, then add the flour, apples, cheese and nuts. Mix until combined, then stir in the remaining milk mixture until the ingredients are all moistened. Spoon into the muffin tin.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

Nutrition Info (Per Serving): Calories 281 (125 From Fat); Fat 14g (Sat. 7g); Chol 62mg; Sodium 279mg; Carb 34g; Fiber 2g; Protein 6g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.