Monday, August 9, 2010

Streusal-Topped Peach Muffins

It's still summer here, and along with fresh vegetables come fresh fruits. Although peaches are yummy on their own, you can do so much more with them. They can be grilled, broiled, stewed, canned, made into jams, salsas, pies, and cakes.

And muffins. They can be made into muffins.

Muffins are so easy to make, it surprises me that people are willing to pay $4 for one. There are everyday ingredients, nothing that requires a special trip to the store, and can be made in a huge variety of flavors. And you can freeze them and eat them later! The only limitation on muffin flavors is your imagination.

Muffins start out with a very, very white mixture of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add some cinnamon, to spice things up. Get it? Spice? Muffins? Ahahaha....ah.
:::cough::: Also add in a generous scoop or two of brown sugar, and then whisk everything together. I like whisking my dry ingredients--it's the lazy man's sifting.

With muffins, it's important to get the general order of things correct. You want the wet ingredients to be mixed into the dry, not the other way around. So make yourself a well in the center of your dry ingredients so it will be ready to absorb all the liquid goodness to come.

Before adding any wet ingredients, though, you'll want to get your peaches ready. I love how fresh peaches smell.
Just dice them up. I left mine on the chunkier side, but you could dice them up in smaller pieces or even mash them up.
Then melt some butter.

Add your butter into your dry ingredients. You can throw the peaches in at the same time, along with a couple of eggs.

Next is buttermilk. I love buttermilk, especially in baked goods. It keeps your quickbreads moist and gives your pancakes an extra "oomph."
Mix everything together gently until  combined. I switched to a spatula at this point--I got sick of picking the pieces of peach out of the whisk. Once your batter is mixed, spoon it into greased muffin tins. I used my super jumbo muffin tin today. It made six enormous muffins.
They're a little more full than I'd like here. I went pretty heavy on the peaches. But I can deal with a little overflow. It's better than having to dirty up another muffin tin.
The thing that's going to make these muffins even better is a streusal topping. In a small bowl, combine equal amounts of brown sugar, flour, and butter.

I usually like to add some oats to this mix, too, for a little extra crunch. But apparently we were out of oats, so there are no oats today. But you could add some if you've got any. Nuts would be a nice addition, too.
I do have a pastry blender tool somewhere in my kitchen. It would be the ideal tool for making the streusal. But I haven't been able to find my pastry blender for a while. I would hazard to guess it's the consequence of living with a toddler.

So instead I just use my knife to cut the butter (and the chunks of brown sugar) into smaller chunks. By doing this, you'll get a nice, crumbly, crunchy topping.
Muffin batter done? Check. Oven preheated? Check. Streusal topping done? Check! Muffins topped with streusal? Check! Into the oven they go!
And out of the oven they come. Get a load of that topping.

These muffins are mammoth-sized. Enough to feed an army (or a household full of hungry children!) Slather them with butter or drizzle them with honey and your Monday morning blues will get a little lighter.

Recipe: Streusal-Topped Peach Muffins
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 stick (8 tbsp.) butter, melted
1 c. buttermilk
2 eggs

2 ripe peaches, diced

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl; whisk to combine.

Add remaining ingredients; stir lightly to combine. Do not overmix.

Pour batter into greased muffin tins.

Make streusal topping (recipe follows) and top muffins with streusal.

Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. My jumbo muffins took 32 minutes (!) to finish baking. Normal sized muffins would take closer to 15-18 minutes.

Recipe: Streusal Topping
2 tbsp. cold butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. flour

Cut butter into brown sugar and flour until the mixture resembles dry crumbs. Spoon over muffin mix, then bake.

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