2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter (or melted coconut oil)
2/3 cup (packed) dark or light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and cut into small pieces
½ cup toasted pecan pieces
12-14 strips of bacon, well cooked, drained and chopped
1/3 cup maple syrup plus extra for drizzling
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 12-capacity muffin tray or line with baking cups.
Whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Whisk in applesauce, vanilla extract and buttermilk.
Gently fold in the flour mixture just until combined. Gently stir in the chopped apple and pecans.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling no more than 2/3 to ¾ full.**
Bake for 18-22 minutes or just until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the muffins. Let cool for 8-10 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan.
Meanwhile make the maple glazed bacon: in a large skillet over medium heat, warm the cooked bacon pieces until nice and crisp.
Stir in the maple syrup and continue cooking on med-low heat until syrup reduces and bacon is fully glazed. Place a little pile of glazed bacon pieces on each muffin and drizzle extra maple syrup over each muffin.
*You can substitute mashed sweet potato or canned plain pumpkin for the applesauce for a whole other flavor profile!
** Depending on capacity of your muffin cups you may have extra batter; bake it in ramekins or a mini loaf pan. What a nice gift.