We will not discuss the Muffin Intervention of 2007. We won’t discuss the month-long, illicit affair I had with the now-extinct blueberry crumble muffin from Pret a Manger, nor the agonizing weeks after when I was forced to swallow oatmeal pretending that it was as perfect and crumbly and buttery as the BLUEBERRY MUFFIN. Even though pounds were lost, tears were shed, friends. I wept BUCKETS. I should say that I have somewhat of an addictive personality — once I love something I consume it to a fault until it becomes ruinous, until it’s something I no longer should be consuming. So the muffin and I have had the equivalent of monitored visitation rights. One lemon poppy here, a mixed berry there — nothing that drives consistency.
Until I found a more virtuous substitute in the pumpkin streusel muffin. I want to thank Poet in the Pantry for introducing me to a muffin that is full on flavor, and low in fat. Are these fat free? No, but they are more virtuous than a stick of butter and a pile of sugar. I love these muffins because they were feather-light, crumbling and not saccharine sweet. I’m starting to cultivate a taste for the symphony of ingredients, free of the mask of sugar. You can actually taste the smoke from the ginger, warmth from the cinnamon, tang from the honey. You’ll appreciate these muffins, want to savor them without the guilt, shame and painful separation that accompanies a Pret muffin addiction.
INGREDIENTS: Recipe courtesy of Poet in the Pantry, with slight modifications
For the Streusel
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp amber honey
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ cup almond flour, lightly packed
¾ cup chopped walnuts
For the Muffins
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
½ cup pure maple syrup (Grade A, the darker, the better)
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup almond flour, lightly packed
⅓ cup coconut flour, lightly packed
1½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the streusel ingredients, tossing with a fork until you get fat crumbs. You should have barely any residual flour on the bottom of the bowl. Set this aside as well.
In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flours, cinnamon, ginger, salt and baking soda. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: pumpkin, eggs, and maple syrup. Once well combined, whisk in the slightly-cooled coconut oil, stirring vigorously the whole time. You’re doing this because you don’t want to cook the eggs. Because GOD FORBID you have scrambled muffin eggs. Then there will be tears.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and whisk until incorporated. Your batter should be thick and relatively lump-free. Using a large cookie (or ice-cream) scoop, portion out the batter, filling each muffin cup about ¾ of the way. Sprinkle streusel topping over each cup, dividing evenly.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.