1/4teaspoonground clovesor approximately 10 whole cloves
3/4cupnatural cane sugar
2 1/4cupswhole wheat pastry flour
3tablespoonsmelted salted butter
1/4cupnatural cane sugar
Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan (I brushed canola oil on with a basting brush) and preheat the oven to 375.
Place the apple cider, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan. Boil the mixture for approximately 15 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half.
Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugar with a standing or hand mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 4 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time; continue to mix well for one more minute.
Add vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well with the mixer.
At this point, if you used whole cloves in the cider instead of ground, remove from cider and discard.
Add one third (3/4 cup) of the whole wheat pastry flour to the wet ingredients. Stir gently with a wooden spoon or spatula until just incorporated. Add 1/2 of the cider liquid. Add the second third of the whole wheat flour, and stir gently again until just incorporated. Add the remaining liquid. Finish adding the remainder of the flour gently until just incorporated. It is OK if the mixture is somewhat lumpy.
Divide batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin cups; bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
On a plate, mix together cinnamon and sugar for topping.
When muffins are done cooking, allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Remove each individually and brush the top and sides with melted butter.
Roll each muffin in the cinnamon sugar mixture and set aside.
Eat immediately, or after cooled, microwave for 15-20 seconds to enjoy these muffins warm.