Apricot Vanilla Bean Muffins

Apricot Vanilla Bean Muffins

For batter:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped

For topping:

2 ounces almond paste

1/4 cup coarse sugar; see cook’s notes

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Coat 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray; set aside. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare batter: In bowl of heavy-duty mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar gradually beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape vanilla bean seeds into mixture and beat in briefly, or add extract if using. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl once or twice.

Stir together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. In alternating batches, add dry mixture and buttermilk to batter, beating just until blended. Stir in apricots. Divide batter among muffin cups.

Prepare topping: Crumble almond paste in small mixing bowl. Add sugar, flour and butter, mixing to crumbly texture. Dot small amount on top of each muffin.

Bake muffins 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes before unmolding on wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins

Cook’s notes: Coarse sugar, also called decorating sugar, is sold in cake-decorating shops.


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