For the streusel topping:
1 tablespoon cold butter
⅓ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup finely chopped pecans
For the muffins:
½ cup canola oil
1-⅓ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg (I use free range eggs)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
2-½ cups all-purpose flour (you may need a bit more, if the batter is too wet)
¼ tsp salt
2-½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1-¾ cups coarsely chopped peeled* apple
For the icing:
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp skim milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
In a food processor, combine of all the streusel topping ingredients. Pulse until you have a crumbly mixture. (you can also do this in a bowl and combine that way.) Set the topping aside.
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. grease and flour a 12 cup muffin tin or use paper liners. ( I actually got 15 muffins from this recipe, so I had to use an extra muffin tin.)
In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, and egg. When it is well combined, add in the buttermilk and pure vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix them well. Gently stir in the apple. If the batter seems to be a bit thin, you cam add a little bit more flour. The batter should be fairly stiff. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups filling them to the top so that they will dome well.
Sprinkle the streusel topping equally over the muffins.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400º and then lower the temperature to 350º F. and bake for an extra 12 minutes.
While muffins are baking, prepare the drizzle mixture. Combine the brown sugar, butter and skim milk in a saucepan on the stove top. Cook over medium heat until well mixed. Remove and add the vanilla extract. While stirring, add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. Mixture should drizzle easily, but should not be too runny. If necessary add more milk or sugar to get the right consistency.
Test the muffins to see if they are done. They will spring back when lightly pressed or when a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove them and cool completely for 15-20 minutes on a wire rack. When cool, drizzle lightly with the caramel icing.
**when mixing in the apple, save a few pieces to add to the top when the muffins are in the cups. It makes the top of the muffin look great when cooked!
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME 45 minutes