Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Mar 22nd

So all three classes of these muffins have been made, and (almost) all came out well. I happened to grab a piece of muffin that was basically falling off in one kitchen and I had to spit it out! I guess they went wrong with their leavening agents (baking powder and baking soda, in this case) but MAN was it gross. I mean, I told them to dump all their muffins in the trash. Yuck. Otherwise, good things happened.

These muffins are great. They are extremely tender and almost cake-like (explanation of WHY will come later) and the topping is the kind of flavor you have to smack your own hand away from picking at.

Fun pumpkin fact: eating 1/2 c. of this pureed pumpkin (DON’T buy the pumpkin pie mix, just the plain 100% pumpkin) gives you 300% of your daily needs for vitamin A, and it’s only 40 calories (and free on Weight Watchers)! Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means your body stores it (in your fat, gross). So by eating 300% of it, you get all you need for today, tomorrow, and the NEXT day! Wowsa. Sometimes I stir plain pumpkin into cottage cheese or Greek yogurt and mix in some splenda and cinnamon (or sugar for those averse to splenda flavor, like Jenny-poo).

Pumpkin Streusle Muffins

This recipe was halved… it will make about 8 muffins. If you want to make about 14-16 muffins, double this!

Topping

1/4 c. flour

2 tbsp. brown sugar, packed

3/4  tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 tbsp. butter

1/4  c. chopped pecans

Muffin:

1 c. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 c. butter, softened (4 tablespoons)

1/2 c. sugar

1 eggs

1/2 c. canned pumpkin

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1.       Preheat oven to 365 degrees.

2.       Combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon (topping) in medium bowl.

3.       Cut in butter with pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly; stir in nuts. Set aside.  A pastry blender is the perfect tool for “cutting in”, which means to blend solid fat with flour or a flour mixture. You can also use two knives or even your hands. Hands are okay for a streusel topping because it’s okay if the butter melts a bit, but if you were making biscuits, scones, or pie crust you would be better off using something metal.

4.       In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda and salt.

5.       In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar.

Now, this is a step people rush a lot of the time. “Creaming” butter and sugar is important because you are forcing air into each fat molecule. This will lighten your batter and help with the rising process. You should beat butter and sugar at medium high speed for at least 3 minutes and up to five.

Here… it should look like “wet sand” when you’re done.

6.       Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

7.       Beat pumpkin and vanilla into mixture.

8.       Gradually beat flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. These kids had someone there to keep gradually adding the dry ingredients. If you do this alone then just add the dries in 3 parts. Don’t over-mix!

By the way, this here is why this muffin is more like a cupcake. Usually we fold in the dry ingredients and the batter is finished when it is still lumpy. We beat in our dry ingredients which lightens our batter and makes it more uniform than a usual muffin.

9.       Line muffin tin with paper liners. Spoon batter into cups, filling 2/3 of the way full.

10.   Sprinkle streusel topping over batter before baking.

Here you can see they had extra batter so they made 8.

11.   Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. I don’t use toothpicks. I just touch the top center lightly. If your finger doesn’t spring back, then give it another minute or two.

These would freeze beautifully, I’d imagine! Enjoy 🙂

In the breakfast unit we do one “class’s choice breakfast”. Today and yesterday I had each kitchen mentally conjure up a “perfect” breakfast. It needed to have a protein, complex carbohydrate, fruit/veggie, and dairy. We will all cook together and eat together— I will even show them how to set a table!

Here are their chosen meals:

1. Chocolate Chip whole wheat waffles, bacon, and a strawberry banana smoothie.

2. Pumpkin waffles, bacon, and a berry smoothie

3. Fried eggs, “white American cheese”, and bacon on a kaiser roll with a side of hashbrowns and stewed apples.

I will probably be photographing along the way and I will put up one or two of the especially good recipes. Off to food shop for all this crazy stuff now!

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