I do this fun thing when I’m sleeping…and by fun, I mean obnoxious.
Throughout the night I will either kick blankets or hoard them. I may start out the night kicking the blankets right off the bed and onto the floor. Then, I will wake up in the wee hours of the morning, shivering, only to roll myself up into a burrito of warmth. Add my tendency to sleep-talk, and I am a dream (read, nightmare) of a bedmate. I just want to have it all, all at once–blankets, no blankets, conversation, and sleep. I mean, at least I don’t sleep-walk…anymore, right?
These muffins came to be because of my inherent desire to have it all. Yesterday, mid-morning, all I wanted was something warm, pumpkin-y, spiced, streusel AND glaze topped. I wanted the perfect fall muffin–not too sweet so I could glaze it, slightly healthy (pumpkin AND wheat germ, holla!), moist yet sturdy, spiced without getting face-punched, a muffin with a hint of brown butter and a bit of crunch. I made it happen and got my way… as it often goes around here when it comes to muffin baking and blanket-hoarding/shunning.
So, tell me, are you a sleep kicker, blanket stealer, talker or walker? Or, are you the type who, once your head hits the pillow, you’re there to stay?
Pumpkin Streusel Muffins w/ Cream Cheese Glaze
Makes 12-14 muffins (depending on how you fill the cups).
Adapted from Damn Delicious.
I reduced the flour from the original recipe and added wheat germ for health and science. I also tinkered with the spices and browned up the butter for good measure. These muffins–sans glaze–are not very sweet, which is how I think a muffin should be. While the insides are moist and tender, a pat of butter smeared on a warm muffin would be totally appropriate. I like to place the streusel in the refrigerator while assembling the batter–I find it encourages more pebbly/rocky streusel as opposed to a crumbly/sandy topping.
1/2 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
2 hefty teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, browned
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup vanilla sugar (or plain or brown)
3 Tablespoons sunflower seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon spice mixture
3 Tablespoons wheat germ
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
remaining spice mixture
1 cup plain pumpkin puree
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, browned
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-3 Tablespoons milk
Preheat your oven to 350*F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease well.
Begin by browning your butter, 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons, divided. Jessica from How Sweet It Is recently posted this great step-by-step. Set aside the butter to cool slightly.
Make the streusel: Mix together 2 tablespoons of the browned butter with flour, sugar, spices, and sunflower seeds, until the mixture clumps together when pinched between your fingers. Place the streusel topping in the refrigerator until ready to use.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the wheat germ, flour, baking powder, sugar, and remaining spice mix. Set aside and in a seperate bowl whisk together pumpkin, remaining butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold until just combined. Fill the prepared muffin cups 3/4 full (I did 2/3, making them a litte under filled). Sprinkle with the streusel mixture and bake in the center of the oven for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before glazing. While muffins cool, make the glaze by stirring the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar together, adding milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Best enjoyed warm from the oven. Can be kept in an airtight container for 3 days.