We had a playdate this morning and so I made muffins. Of course I forgot to warn the other mom, so they had just eaten a snack, but oh well. I think baking for playdates was one of my favorite parts of having a regular playdate when we lived in PA. I will have to look into resurrecting that part of the playdate experience!
Anyway, just me and my kids ate them, but these muffins are great. They are from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours, and they are tender, moist, just a little sweet and the topping is fabulous. My only criticism is that you either need to eat them, whole, with a fork or maybe put a layer of streusel in their middles, because otherwise the top half of the muffin is far superior to the bottom half. But this is a regular complaint for me with streusel topped muffins. Alex thought so too since she only ate the top!
I subbed in half whole wheat pastry flour for the muffin and all whole wheat pastry flour for the streusel and both subs worked fine. If you don’t own whole wheat pastry flour, I cannot emphasize enough what a great, healthy addition it is to your pantry. And no one will ever know you are using whole wheat flour.
By the way, I have not forgotten my promise to share that amazing bread recipe with you, but it is my submission to the Yellow Food for International Women’s Day blogging event and thus needs to be posted on March 8, so check back then if you are waiting for it!
Allspice Crumb Muffins
Adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ t allspice
5 T cold butter, diced
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup AP flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ t allspice
1 T baking powder
¼ t salt
¼ light brown sugar
8 T (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup whole milk
2 large eggs
¼ t vanilla
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Either grease or line with muffin cups and then lightly spray with baking spray a 12 cup muffin pan (lightly spraying the muffin cups helps ensure easy release of the paper from the muffin). Make sure the top of the muffin pan is also sprayed.
For the streusel: This can be made up to 3 days ahead—just be sure to refrigerate. Mix together the brown sugar, flour and allspice. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture, either using your fingertips, a pastry cutter or 2 forks, until the butter lumps are no larger than peas and the whole mixture resembles a crumbly mess. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready for it to ensure the butter stays cold.
For the muffins: Whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir in the brown sugar. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and cooled melted butter. Pour over the flour mixture. Using a spatula, fold the ingredients together until the batter is uniformly moistened but still lumpy.
Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cups. Sprinkle the streusel over the tops of the batter, pressing the streusel lightly into the tops of the muffin batter. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating your pan halfway through to ensure even cooking. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into them comes out with only a few crumbs attached.
Let the muffins cool on a cool rack in the muffin pan for 5 minutes. Then carefully remove the muffins from the pan and set them to cool on a cooling rack. These will be best the day they are baked but after they have cooled, although we liked them warm just fine and Dorie says they will still be pretty good the second day.