It seems that October comes, wait no the middle of September comes or sometimes even August, and the whole world goes on a pumpkin craze. All pumpkin foods, all the time. The countdown to Starbucks having their pumpkin spice latte back, which I don’t even care about because blech, coffee. And sometimes I can be surprisingly cynical, and I rolled my eyes at all of this just a bit. Because do we really need to put pumpkin into everything? Into every bread and every drink and every dessert, and sometime even into our main dishes? Is that really necessary?
Well yes, yes it is, as is evidenced by these pumpkin muffins which I was not too terribly excited about but made anyway because I wanted to be seasonal, and even if I thought pumpkin in everything was a bit silly, seasonal is definitely one thing I like to be. So I stirred these muffins up and poured them into their little tins, and, as with many things in the kitchen, I thought to myself, “Well, at least this will be a good experiment.”
And as with many things in the kitchen (like that cake last week), I pulled these muffins out of the oven, waited about one minute for them to cool because oh my gosh they smelled so delicious, and then I took a bite and remembered how much I love pumpkin flavored things and understood why everyone makes everything with pumpkin in the fall and I immediately forgave everyone for being so obsessive. Because I was the one who was wrong.
These muffins are the perfect light and fluffy texture, while still carrying that warm comforting spiced pumpkin-pie-like flavor. The cinnamon streusel topping gives it a nice extra sweetness, while at the same time not at all becoming overpowering, and also adds a nice crunch. These are perfect little bites of fall, for fall mornings or a fall afternoons, or really even a fall desserts which is what I did yesterday after lunch.
And now I have a whole half of a can of pumpkin left. So let the scheming begin!
Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
adapted from epicurious.com
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (or nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a muffin pan, or grease with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves (or nutmeg), and salt.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together melted and cooled butter, brown sugar, pumpkin, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring gently with a rubber spatula until all ingredients are combined. Be very careful not to over mix. Set batter aside.
4. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping: flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mash the ingredients together until butter is evenly distributed and mixture is crumbly with pieces about the size of peas.
5. Scoop muffin batter into the muffin tins (an ice cream scoop works well), filling each cup about halfway. Then top each muffin with a couple of teaspoons of the streusel topping, lightly pressing the topping so that it sticks to the top of the muffins.
6. Bake muffins for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool slightly on a wire rack, and serve warm.