Apricot Muffins with a Topping of Crunchy Goodness

Sweet, salty, tender and crunchy -- that's what these apricot muffins are like.

Sweet, gooey caramel with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Skinny jeans with a billowy top.

And the gregarious jock with the shy, bookish girl next-door.

Plain and simple, opposites attract.

Why? Because in the immortal words of Tom Cruise to Rene Zellweger in “Jerry Maguire,” they complete one another.

The same can be said about the best baked goods. If there’s soft, there ought to be crunchy, as well, to provide added contrast and greater interest.

When I decided to bake a batch of muffins the other week, using summer apricots fresh from the farmers market, I knew I wanted the tender treats to sport not only a crunchy top, but one that was both a little sweet and a bit salty.

My inspiration came from a bag of Sahale Snacks Almonds with Cranberries, Honey & Sea Salt, of which I had received as a sample. The mix of honey-roasted almonds, toasted sesame seeds, dried cranberries and orange blossom honey did just the trick. Rough chopped, the nut mixture was sprinkled over the muffin tops just before baking.

The Sahale nut mixture before being chopped up.

The nut mixes come in a variety to choose from.

The resulting muffins were just as I had hoped: nutty, crunchy, salty-sweet on top and tender within with big chunks of soft apricots in every bite.

If you don’t have a bag of Sahale nuts on hand, you can use sliced almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans, along with a sprinkle of sugar, sesame seeds and a tiny pinch of salt over the top of each muffin before baking. Also, feel free to substitute peaches or nectarines for apricots, if you prefer.

Enjoy one for breakfast. Or heck, even after dinner for dessert. After all, life is just a little more delicious with a serving of contrariness.

Apricot Muffins with a Topping of Crunchy Goodness

(makes 12)

1 3/4 cup pitted, chopped fresh apricots

1/2 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided use

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons wheat germ

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool slightly

1 cup low-fat milk

1 teaspoon almond extract

Heaping 1/3 cup Sahale Snacks Almonds with Cranberries, Honey & Sea Salt, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, toss apricots with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, wheat germ, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In another medium-size bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, milk and almond extract until combined. Stir in the flour mixture just until evenly moistened. Don’t over-mix or your muffins will end up tough. It’s OK if the batter still looks a little lumpy.

Fill muffin liners almost to the top with the batter. Sprinkle chopped nut mixture over each muffin. Then sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over all the muffin tops.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then carefully remove each muffin from the pan.

From Carolyn Jung

More Apricot Recipes: Slim Apricot Tarts

And: Apricot, Almond Brown Butter Tart

And: Apricot Flaky Scones

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Date: Monday, 23. July 2012 5:25
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Fruit, General, Recipes (Sweet)

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  1. 1

    Your muffins looks amazing! I love that crunchy topping.



  2. 2

    Sigh…summer apricots! I cannot wait for those! These look delightful! :)

  3. 3

    Genius! They’re almost like mini crumb cakes!

  4. 4

    These are so picture perfect!!

  5. 5

    Okay these look so delicious that I may have to make some of them today!!

  6. 6

    What a delectable creation. I love the stone fruit season and what a great use of the apricots. I’ve never tried the Sahale Snacks but sound like something I’ll love! What a nice topping and contrast of texture it creates for these muffins. I hope the Sahale Snacks will make it to the muffins before I snack them away. :P

  7. 7

    Dear Carolyn,

    These muffins look really good and I totally agree that contrast of textures adds to the enjoyment of eating – crispy pork crackling and succulent and juicy pork belly :)

  8. 8

    These muffins look heavenly with the nutty streusel topping!

  9. 9

    Wow Carolyn, I love the way you started this post. Fun way to draw a reader in.

    I’d take that muffin top, please. Just not around me. ;-)

  10. 10

    Oh! I love how this muffins sound and look…I so wish I could have one of this for breakfast :)
    Have a wonderful week ahead Carolyn!

  11. 11

    Yum, really delicious muffins! I’ve never used apricots to bake or cook anything. They are so juicy and delicious, so I bet these muffins are yummy with the crunchy toppings!

  12. 12

    I never know what to do with apricots because they’re either really good or really bad…but no matter what I bet they’re great in these muffins!

  13. 13

    You’re so right that different textures in food delight the tongue! And apricots have great flavor in baked goods, or anything for that matter. Good stuff – thanks.

  14. 14

    i could eat an entire bag of glazed nuts in one sitting. that wouldn’t be SO bad, would it? think of all that protein! :)

  15. 15

    Maybe all muffins should have a streusel-like topping. Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s the part you want to eat first, but it’s best just to take a big bite and enjoy the tender, soft part of the muffin with the crunch. Yum.

  16. 16

    What a great use of fresh apricots! In fact, all of the apricot dishes you have listed look delicious! That topping looks crunchy and sweet – just like I like it! Great muffins!

  17. 17

    I love this recipe! It tastes so good!

  18. 18

    My kinda muffins. I am a sucker for anything apricot!

  19. 19

    I like the idea of “opposites attract”. You are absolutely right. Having the right amount of sweetness versus saltyness are the best kind of pastry.

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