One thing I love about September is the anticipation of autumn. There is something unique about transition from short to long sleeves, green to golden leaves, baseball to football, and vanilla to pumpkin spice lattes that makes my heart skip a beat. It’s time to welcome the harvest!

Apples are in their prime throughout September. Last year, we went to a local apple festival to celebrate the beauty of this simple fruit. We met farmers from all over North Carolina that came to this small town to sell their best pecks. Apple cider, apple doughnuts, caramel apples, and apple funnel cakes were some of the treats that enticed us as we wandered the crowded streets.

These apple streusel muffins are the perfect way to celebrate fall flavors. Bursting with cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey, these apple treats are super moist and delicious. Your kitchen will smell divine as they are coming out of the oven. Made with 100% whole wheat flour, you shouldn’t feel as guilty taking a second one for the road.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground clove
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 apples, peeled and grated

Crumb Topping:

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (not melted)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl (or electric stand mixer), blend the egg, applesauce, honey, melted butter, and grated apples. Add dry mixture to this bowl in two additions, blending well each time between additions.

Prepare the crumb topping by combining all topping ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix using a fork to create some very small and some pea-sized pieces.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill each about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle topping liberally on each muffin.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick (or knife) inserted in the center of muffins comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

Makes 16 muffins.