These muffins are perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. I eat them two at a time, and tuck them into my purse before heading to work.
Recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup natural applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the pecans and cinnamon; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Mix in the applesauce and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Blend just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.