Thursday, December 27, 2007

Allspice Crumb Muffins

Allspice Crumb Muffins

Allspice Crumb Muffins

My family appreciates streusel.

I've made a few different breakfast breads this week. The Cardamom Crumb Cake was particularly well recieved; my dad took a bite and said "Lisa, my mom used to make coffee cakes just like this- I liked to cut off the top and leave the bottom." The rest of the morning, I caught him stripping the streusel from small slices of coffee cake.

This morning, he yelled from the kitchen that I needed to make more ant traps because ants had eaten the top off one of my muffins. I walked into the kitchen and saw a muffin bottom sitting naked in its tin, streuselless and lonely. I told my dad I didn't think we had enough boric acid powder to deal with such a large pest. Comments aside, I do love it when my family likes my baked goods.

I baked half of these in aluminum muffin cups and half of them plain in greased tins. The muffins made with extra aluminum lining rose higher and browned very nicely. The muffins baked in unlined tins had crunchier tops and barely browned bottoms. They were more tender, but I really like color on my pastries. Heat distribution really affects muffins- so mind the weight and material of your pan.

Allspice Crumb Muffins
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From my Home to Yours

Streusel:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground allspice
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

Muffins:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular sized muffin tin or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

To make the streusel: Put the flour, brown sugar, and allspice in a small bowl and sift them through your fingers to blend. Add the bits of cold butter into the dry ingredients and toss to coat, then use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until you've got irregularly shaped crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator. (You can make the crumbs up to 3 days ahead and keep them covered in the fridge.)

To make the muffins: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, allspice and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, quickly but gently stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough- the batter will be lumpy and that's the way it should be. Stir in the lemon zest, if using. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle some streusel over each muffin, then use your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

1 comment:

Ruth from Texas said...

I made these this morning and everyone I've shared them with loves them. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!