Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

love cookbooks, especially bright ones with photographs of all the recipes. I'm a terribly visual person, so a cookbook with no pictures I steer away from. For Christmas, I told my husband I wanted "a cookbook from Costco." In my experience, Costco always has the best cookbooks. I knew if I sent him that direction, I'd end up okay. The man pulled through. I ended up with two fabulous Costco-approved cookbooks, among other things. In a typical Sarah fashion, I put the fabulous cookbooks on my cookbook shelf and...

kinda sort forgot about them.

Oops. The other day I needed a recipe for streusel; I was whipping up a muffin mix before school since I was out of milk. I pulled out one of my new cookbooks and was amazed to find all the categories. There was a muffin category, and the first muffin recipe I flipped to was one with streusel. Clearly, this was a recipe book that deserved my attention! When I got home from taking the kids to school, I put my baby down for a nap and settled my toddler in front of Dora (yeah, I'm that Mom. Your point?), and propped my pillows up in bed for a nice read. I flipped through the book, mentally tagging the recipes I'd need to make asap. 

The first third of the book is dinners, apps, salads, etc., and the last two thirds are the essentials: baked goods! The recipe lists are all short and look phenomenal. The book is uber organized with a category for brownies, cakes and cupcakes, special occasion cakes, and... oh! I should tell you what the cookbook is called, huh?

I just realize how seriously side tracked I got from the recipe, huh? I'm going to stop singing the praises of this cookbook and tell you how to make some yummy cinnamon streusel muffins. But first, I need to tell you that this clever little cookbook even comes with 2 clear removable page protectors. You simply move them to cover the page you will be using and voila, your pages will be protected from all sorts of baking goop!

I'm done about the cookbook. Really.

This recipe is originally a nutmeg streusel muffin, but in our house, we're all about the cinnamon.
Plus, I was out of nutmeg.

First you start your streusel. This is actually the base for your recipe too. Just flour and brown sugar. Mix it up and add the secret ingredient...

cold burro! Which is the Italian word for butter, in case you're wondering. My dad never once said "please pass the butter" at the dinner table. He always requested burro. Just a little insight into my childhood.

The cold butter is important because you don't want to cream the butter into the flour and brown sugar mix. You want to cut it in with a fancy Nancy pastry cutter. (Is that a thing?) Or a fork, if you're lacking fancy Nancy pastry cutters in your life.

Like this! (Picture courtesy of
Now if you have practically every kitchen tool known to man except a pastry whatever, you can use a fork. Which is what I did. I cannot tell you how many hand cramps I got trying to cut in the stupid freaking butter into the stupid freaking blour. (<-- a typo for real, but a good name for brown sugar and flour, yes?) I highly recommend a pastry cutter. It's officially on my list of things I need for my kitchen. Anyway, you want it to look like course crumbs. This was really hard to replicate with a fork but I didn't worry about it too much. That's the way I roll.

If you read the recipe first plan ahead this can actually be a one dish bowl. I used two. :) Remove some of that streusel-y goodness. You'll thank me later. Now you're going to mix in:

flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, some salt and

buttermilk and an egg. If you don't have buttermilk (and really, who does?), put a teaspoon of lemon juice in your milk and let it sit for a few minutes.

You want to mix it in just until moist. If you over mix quick breads and muffins, they get very tough and develop tunnels in the final product. Not so good.

Spoon your batter halfway full into your muffin tins. Sprinkle with that reserved streusel and pop those babies in the oven. 

Can you say yum??

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
adapted from Land O Lakes Recipe Collection: Baking and More

1 1/3 c. flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. cold butter, cut into chunks
2/3 c. flour
2/3 c. buttermilk
or 2 t. lemon juice and milk to equal 2/3 c., let stand 5 min.
1 egg
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin pan cups; set aside.
Combine 1 1/2 c. flour and brown sugar in large bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1/2 c.
Add the rest of the ingredients to remaining streusel mixture in same bowl; stir just until moistened.
Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin pan cups. Sprinkle each with reserved streusel. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan.

Here's your recipe card. Click to enlarge, then right click to save. Print out as a 4x6 recipe card.

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