Allspice Crumb Muffins

1 more day and my little peanut has her graduation ceremony and officially becomes a 1st grader! While I know that without a doubt she will graduate and move on in what I, and probably every other beaming parent out there, hope to be an illustrious academic career, I can’t help but want to help her odds along a wee bit. So I find myself here, on the eve of graduation day, baking a batch of muffins to give to her teacher. Yeah, call it bribery, call it what you will, it surely can’t hurt, right?

My choice is a recipe that I bookmarked from the moment I received Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home To Yours” cookbook for allspice crumb muffins. Now, I think that almost every person who’s endured any amount of time in cubicle purgatory has a soft spot for crumb donuts, muffins, and cakes. It’s THE perfect complement to a nice, hot, steaming cup of liquid humanity that we all know as coffee. When I saw this recipe, I zoned in on the word “crumb” and it was all she wrote folks. Bookmarked and just awaiting any opportunity to be made.

This recipe is further intriguing in that it showcases a spice that is not often used in everyday cooking, at least around here. Allspice, in my experience, has usually taken a wing man’s role in most dishes…be it pumpkin pie, cakes, stews, meat rubs, or Caribbean jerks. Bearing a taste that’s a cross between cloves and nutmeg to me with just a bit of bite, I have always loved its complex flavor and enjoy just about everything that I’ve had with it. I’m pleased to report that this muffin is no exception to this statement!

The crumb topping gives you that first taste of allspice before you bite into the moist interior of the muffin which also has more allspice for your taste buds to enjoy. A bit more sophisticated than your average blueberry or corn muffin, I can easily envision myself enjoying one of these with my early morning cup of coffee…but alas, this batch is destined for Mai’s teacher. Oh well, I guess this just means that I’ll have to whip up another batch this weekend. We all have to make sacrifices…

Allspice Crumb Muffins
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Yields 12 muffins

Ingredients

For streusel:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits

For muffins:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray 12 muffin molds in a regular sized muffin pan or line 12 muffin wells with paper cups. Place muffin pan on baking sheet, set aside.

To make streusel, put the flour, brown sugar, and allspice into a small bowl and sift them through with your fingers to blend. Add in bits of cold butter 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 refrigerator while you prepare the muffin batter.***

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, allspice, and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. In another separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend until just incorporated. Don’t worry, batter will be slightly lumpy, this is ok. Stir in lemon zest if using. Divide batter equally among the muffin cups.

Sprinkle some streusel over each muffin…you’ll be tempted to try and use all of the streusel mixture as I was, but try not to overload each muffin. I ended up with giant sized muffin tops! After sprinkling, gently use your fingertips to press the crumbs into the batter.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the muffin pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from the pan.

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~ by tastydesu on June 23, 2010.

One Response to “Allspice Crumb Muffins”

  1. This muffins sounds great for breakfast. The recipe looks amazing, it really looks perfect for my family. You really set my mood right for baking today.
    I am very interested in Veitnamese recipe, I hope you posted some of them more.

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