Spiced Pecan Apple Cider Doughnut Muffins

Happy Thanksgiving! These muffins are the perfect finish to dinner and also make for a great next day breakfast. The original recipe calls for this to be made in a bundt cake but I don't have a bundt pan and making muffins made it easy for us to deliver some to friends since we didn't need to have 24 muffins sitting around the house. We both liked that the muffins weren't too sweet, and were very balanced with spice, maple and cider flavors.

Recipe slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest

-12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-3 large eggs, at room temperature
-1/2 cup apple butter
-1 cup apple cider
-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-2 teaspoons cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold butter cubed
-2 honeycrisp apples, chopped
-1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
-2/3 cup maple syrup
-2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and prep two full-sized muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the room temperature eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the apple butter, and continue beating until smooth. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and mix on low speed until just combined.

With the mixer on low slowly add in the apple cider. Beat for 1 minute or until the batter is smooth. 

To make the streusel, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to mix the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbled. Stir in the apples and pecans. Set aside.

Whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla, and eggs.

To make the muffins -- fill the bottom of each cupcake liner with batter. Sprinkle the batter with the streusel, drizzle the streusel with the maple syrup mixture. Spoon more batter over the streusel and then top the muffin with one last layer of streusel. Repeat this process until all of the cupcake liners are filled. 

Bake the muffins for 22-27 minutes but start checking for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center until it comes out clean. 


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