Prep: 30 min., Cook: 4 min. per batch, Bake: 25 min. It can be baked in muffin pans, loaf pans, or 8-inch round cake pans.
1 (3-pound) bag small apples (12 to 14 apples)
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted and divided
Quick Caramel Frosting
Peel, core, and cut 4 apples into 24 (1/4-inch-thick) rings. SautÃ© apple rings, in batches, in a lightly greased skillet over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet, and place 1 apple ring in the bottom of each of 24 lightly greased muffin pan cups.
Peel and finely chop enough remaining apples to equal 3 cups. Set aside.
Stir together sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to sugar mixture, stirring just until blended. (Batter will be stiff.) Fold in finely chopped apples and 1 cup pecans.
Spoon batter evenly over apple rings in muffin pan cups, filling cups three-quarters full.
Bake at 350Â° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan, and cool, apple rings up, on a wire rack.
Press the handle of a wooden spoon gently into the center of each apple ring, forming a 1-inch-deep indentation in the muffins. Spoon warm Quick Caramel Frosting evenly over muffins, filling indentations. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans.
Caramel-Apple Coffee Cakes: Omit apple rings, Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 8-inch round baking pans. Bake at 350Â° for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans, and cool on wire racks. Spoon warm Quick Caramel Frosting evenly over coffee cakes; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/2 cups pecans.
Makes 16 servings. Prep: 20 min., Bake: 50 min.