The weather has been all over the place here in New York, and the only snow we’ve gotten so far was that Nor’easter in November, but these muffins are so perfect for the season that one bite makes me feel like I’m in a winter wonderland.

Chestnut Muffins

Chestnut muffins

Chestnut Muffins (27 of 750)

Adapted from 750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury
Makes 12 muffins (48 minis)

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated tart-sweet apple (Braeburn, Golden Delicious, or Gala)
  • 1 cup roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, thyme, and baking soda.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and oil until well blended. Whisk in milk until blended.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in apple and chesnuts.
  5. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes or until tops are just turning  golden. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack. Store in airtight container.

I’m not saying you should replace your Christmas morning cinnamon rolls with these muffins, but maybe considering adding them to the brunch menu. They’re the opposite of cinnamon rolls – instead of knocking you over with in-your-face flavor, these muffins are subtle and light, but no less delicious.

Roasted chestnuts can be found in most grocery stores around the holiday season and are usually available year-round at Asian grocery stores. The earthy flavor of the chestnut pairs perfectly with the not-so-secret ingredient, thyme, which also makes your kitchen smell incredible. A teaspoon of thyme might seem like too much, but it’s the perfect amount  – if you’re not a fan, I’d scale it back to 1/2 tsp, but it really does make a difference, so don’t leave it out completely. The last two players in this A-Team are cornmeal, which makes the muffins soft and tender, and grated apples for a hint of sweetness.

In the words of the wise Bosco Baracus, I pity the fool who doesn’t make these muffins.

Chestnut Muffin Batter

Don’t even think about skimping on the apples or the chestnuts

Chestnut Muffins

Chestnut (muffins) roasting (warming) on an open fire (preheated oven)