In various online polls, I've seen the question "What is your favorite season?" It's a question I can't answer. I love them all, which is why I'm glad to live in an area that (usually) has four distinct seasons. I love sitting in warm, fuzzy pajamas, watching the snow fall while sipping hot chocolate in winter. I love watching flowers bloom in the spring as the temperatures get warmer and the days get longer. I love wearing sundresses and flip flops, going to the beach, barbecuing, and eating sweet, fresh fruit in the summer.
And I love the fall. Hoodie weather (yes, even at my age). The rich colors of the leaves. And the scents! Mulled apple cider, warm cinnamon, spicy pumpkin ... And with fall right around the corner, I'm eagerly anticipating all the fall-flavored food to come. So, I may have gotten started a little early with these pumpkin muffins.
These muffins are light and tender, moist and delicious. They bake up nicely, with a tall muffin top. They have a subtle, spicy pumpkin flavor, and a sweet, slightly crunchy topping. Enjoy one of these muffins, warm, with a light smear of melted butter and a warm cup of coffee on a brisk fall morning. Perfection!
Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel Topping
Slightly adapted from Buns in My Oven
Yield: 12 standard muffins
For the muffins:
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup canned pumpkin purée
- ½ cup reduced fat buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the streusel topping:
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Liberally spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper cups.
- Cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl, then beat in the pumpkin, buttermilk, eggs, and molasses.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Stir into batter, just until combined.
- Divide batter into muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full.
- Put flour and brown sugar in a mini food processor and pulse to combine. Add cubes of butter, and pulse until mixture has the texture of coarse meal.
- Place a tablespoonful of streusel on top of each muffin.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for two to three days; freeze for long-term storage.