My first apple pie of the year dive-bombed into an epic fail the other day.
What was supposed to be a mouth-watering concoction of baked caramely apples dotted with cherry-cranberry compote all wrapped up in a buttery, flaky crust, manifested instead as a major mess in an under-cooked, too small crust.
Like I said.
Last night, I threw together a quick one-pot chicken and pasta casserole that resulted in an almost flavorless pile of semi-mush topped with deliciously bubbly and browned Italian cheese and pepperoni on top.
It was quick, easy, and . . . another failure.
Last week, I attempted to work my baking genius to create a recipe for egg-less pumpkin muffins – a nod to my son’s teacher – who loves pumpkin spice but who’s daughter is allergic to eggs.
The muffins that emerged from the oven teetered between wet sponge and weird pumpkin pie.
A flavorful yet strange fail.
Some methods are just better left alone.
I could see it and taste it in my sorry excuse for egg-less muffins.
The streusel kept calling my name, and the spices were mocking me.
I knew there was success in there, and honestly – I was just tired of the crash-and-burn pattern of my experimentation.
I. just. wanted. something. delicious.
So ditching the idea of inventing the next great eggless muffin, and disappointedly aware that my version was destined for the waist bin, I went back to tradition and made good ol’ real pumpkin muffins.
Of course. . . Voila!
These were the muffins that had been haunting my cravings.
I suggest if these muffins are calling to you and you’re tempted to tinker. . .
Don’t do it.
They’re perfect the way they are.
We don’t always have to blaze a new trail.
If it’s good, why not just stick with it, and enjoy the fact that someone’s figured it out for us? Thanks to Naomi, of Bakers Royale, for her pumpkin muffin genius.
Pumpkin Muffins with Walnut Streusel
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 tablespoons room temperature, unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup roughly chopped raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Line muffin pan with papers. (makes 12-18 muffins)
Make the streusel:
Add all dry ingredients to a medium bowl*. Mix with a fork. Add butter and push and cut butter into mixture with the fork until small balls and crumbs form. You can use your fingers here to pinch and break the mixture, but I found a fork (or two) to be an efficient method. Once crumbs are formed, chill the streusel in the fridge till ready to use.
*Because only some of us enjoy nuts in our food, I made the streusel without the walnuts. Then, when I was ready to top the muffins, I put chopped walnuts on half the muffins, then topped them all with struesel.
In a medium bowl, add whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves). Whisk together and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter for about 30 seconds. Add sugar and mix thoroughly. Add eggs and mix on medium until incorporated.
Add half the dry mixture. Mix just until combined. Add oil, buttermilk, and pumpkin. Mix until combined. Add second half of the dry mixture. Mix till combined.
Spoon mixture into muffin cups. (Makes 12 - 18 muffins). Sprinkle each muffin with struesel.
Bake for 17 - 20 minutes. Test with toothpick. Cool on wire rack, in pan, for 2 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
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