Eggnog Streusel Muffins

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Hello, December!

The holidays are in full swing over here, as this is my ever-fave time of the year. One of my favorite holiday flavors is Eggnog. The thing is…I’m not so much into drinking it. In a latte? Totally. In ice cream, hell-to-the-yes. Cookie, cakes, etc…yup.

Even though eggnog is basically melted ice cream–drinking it is just too much for me. The viscosity gets to me every time. I love to add eggnog to a baked good–like these super soft cookies or this pretty cake. It replaces the dairy in many recipes like a dream. The richness and subtle nutmeg spice is perfect for holiday baking. I threw these muffins together, using my favorite recipe as the starting point, over the weekend. The muffin is tender and fragrant with eggnog flavor. The streusel has hints of nutmeg and the sugary crunch is perfection in top of the tender muffin. They come together quickly and are perfect with a cup of coffee on grey-sky mornings.

Eggnog Streusel Muffins

adapted from this recipe. 

Makes 8 standard or 24 mini muffins.

1 cup all-purpose flour

6 Tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg

1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons eggnog

3 Tablespoons browned butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


2 Tablespoons browned butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

tiny pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350*f and line your desired muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

Brown the butter for the muffins and streusel. Melt 5 Tablespoons of butter in a small pan. Heat over medium until the butter becomes foamy, continue heating–swirling or stirring the butter–until the milk solids become dark golden brown and fragrantly nutty. Remove from heat and divide accordingly into two bowls. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl mix the streusel together by combining the 2 Tablespoons of browned butter with the flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Set in refrigerator until ready to use.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg.

In a large measuring cup whisk together the egg, eggnog, 3 Tablespoons of the cooled browned butter, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold until just combined. Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups, divide streusel evenly over the tops of each muffin and bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean–about 13-15 minutes for minis and 16-20 for standard muffins. I would check them both after the earliest suggested time and go from there. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

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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.

Spice Mix:

1/2 heaping teaspoon kosher salt

2 hefty teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Streusel Topping:

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

Muffin batter:

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

2 eggs

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.








Streusel-Topped Brownies

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Sometimes, I just want to streusel-top everything I bake and then pick the bits of streusel off the top and leave the remnants for my husband to scavenge.

Sometimes, I do this exact thing, and, for the record, Sean is not amused.

Lately, I’ve been in a battle with a snack cake that won’t turn out right…partly because of my penchant for distraction, partly because I’m pretty sure the recipe wants to torture me. I’ve had plans to pick that streusel off the top of said snack cake, but it just keeps sinking and nestling into the batter, causing me to have tears and sadness. So, in an effort to keep feelings of failure and frustration at bay, I decided to make an old favorite, the humble brownie, and sprinkle some STREUSEL all up over it.

When sugary, crunchy, cocoa laden streusel meets dark, fudgy brownie….it makes me want to add cocoa to all kinds of crumbl-y topped goods–cocoa berry crumble? hello! The streusel is a delightful texture with the brownie and it really took most of my will-power to not scrape it off of all the brownies, I only left one brownie top-less…instead of the whole heap. Now, my love of streusel is just magnified and I want to sprinkle it over everything I love. Streusel for everyone!

Streusel-Topped Brownies

For the streusel:

3 Tablespoons melted, unsalted, butter

6 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

tiny pinch of cinnamon

In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until combined well. Refrigerate while you make the brownie batter.

For the brownies:

Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa (plus more for dusting, optional)

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

2 large, cold eggs

1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and line a 8×8 pan, set aside.

Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and combine butter, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt. Stir from time to time until butter is melted and mixture is smooth and hot to the touch. Remove bowl from pan of water and set aside to cool to warm.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon, then add eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter is thick, shiny, and well combined, add the flour, stirring just until it is incorporated. Then continue to beat vigorously for about 40 strokes. Scrape the batter into the pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula and sprinkle evenly with streusel. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.