Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Coffee Cake Muffins

I am fortunate to have a handful of friends who are willing to help me out at the drop of a hat.  About a month ago, I needed someone to pick Sweetpea up from school for a few days.  One of my trusty mom friends came to my rescue and asked for nothing in return.  I decided that I wanted to bake her a little something sweet as my way of saying, "Thanks".  I had bookmarked this delectable recipe in The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book and figured this was a good time to try it.  I'm so glad that I did!

Coffee Cake Muffins

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin.

2.  Pulse 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar, 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, and 1/4 cup dark brown sugar in a food processor to combine.  Transfer 3/4 cup of the sugar mixture to a medium bowl and whisk in another 1/4 cup dark brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon to make the streusel filling.  Leave the remaining sugar mixture in the processor.

3.  Add 1 cup (5 ounces) flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to the processor and pulse 5 times to combine.  Scatter 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) chilled, unsalted butter (cut into 1-inch cubes) into the processor and pulse until the mixture breaks down into small pebbly pieces; about 10 pulses.  Add 3 large eggs and 1/2 cup sour cream and pulse 8 times until the batter is combined and thick.

4.  Scoop a rounded tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup, then sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons streusel mixture into each cup.  Divide the remaining batter evenly among the cups.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 20 to 24 minutes.  Rotate the muffin tin half-way through.

5.  Let the muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes.  Remove them from the tin* and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

* When I first tried removing my muffins from the tin, the tops separated from the bottoms at the filling.  I ran a thin spatula around the edges and used it to help lift the muffins out of the cups; this worked well.  I reassembled the ones that had come apart, and they stuck together fine when cooled.

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