Pumpkin Crumb Muffins

Warm, moist and spicy, you can add whatever
favorite pumpkin related spice you like to these.
I am gravitating to a lot of spicy warm baked goods this week, fall is in the air, the weather is turning chilly, and I do quite a lot of baking. If I ever became a professional cook, I suspect it would be as a baker. This makes a very beautiful orange spicy colored muffin with white, crisp/short crumbs on top. I just tweeked Viola's crumb cake and made them into muffins, and I replaced a good percentage of the butter with pumpkin puree, so the nutritional okayness is much higher in this version.

"My" Pumpkin Crumb Muffins:

1-1/3 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter

Mix together to form a crumbly mixture, reserve 1/2 cup for topping. (The best way to do this is with your hands, pinching the butter and flour/sugar together. You want a slightly lumpy, irregular crumb, as that will create the crumbly shortbread-texture on top.

To the rest add:

1/2 c. sour milk (add a Tbl of vinegar to regular milk)
1 egg, slightly beaten
2/3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon or to taste
1/2 tsp. of clove and nutmeg (Ground ginger and mace would be good ideas as well)

Prepare your muffin pans with a little spray oil or paper liners. This will make 9 taller muffins or 12 shorter ones. To fill 9 muffin cups, use about 1/3 c. batter each. Evenly sprinkle the reserved topping over the tops.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven. For 9 bigger muffins, bake for about 18 to 22 minutes, for a dozen, bake for 15 to 18 minutes. (If you have empty muffin cups when baking less than 12, just add an ice cube to each one, it will keep the pan from over heating the empty cups.) Test like any other muffin, a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

You can also add walnuts and/or raisins, 1/2 c each. This can easily be baked in an 8x8" pan as well, greased and lightly floured. Adjust the time, probably about 35 to 40 minutes.


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