Posted by: Josey Lyne Payne, Esq. | October 13, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie: Allspice Crumb Muffins

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Allspice Crumb Muffins

I joined a new group – I know, I know.  Don’t I have enough on my ‘to-do’ list?  Apparently, not.  Anyway, as I was saying, I joined a new group.  It’s called Tuesdays With Dorie (hence the recipe title opening).  The basic premise is this: a lady received a cookbook, Baking: From my home to yours, authored by Dorie Greenspan, for Christmas in 2007.  She decided to bake a recipe from it and blog about it every Tuesday (I’m sure the title is a clever take from the book, Tuesdays With Morrie – cute).  Though that sounds simple enough, life does have a way of taking things that are simple and making then damn near impossible – you know what I’m talking about.  She couldn’t, or didn’t want to, do it alone.  Everything is better with friends as motivators, no?  So that’s what she did.  She started a blog, Tuesdays With Dorie, and asked fellow bloggers to join the ranks. 

Well, hundreds joined.  I, am one of the hundreds.  I may never get to be the host, but I don’t care.  I just want to bake, with purpose – well, besides feeding Drin.  So, Tuesdays With Dorie is the perfect place for me.  Tuesdays are my least favorite day, and maybe, just maybe, this will be a bright spot – the only other is that my Drin ALWAYS sleeps over on Tuesdays. 

Today, this Tuesday, it’s Allspice Crumb Muffins (pages 16 & 17).  Drin gives these two sticky thumbs up!


Allspice Crumb Muffins
     from: Baking – From my home to yours

For the Streusel
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into bits

For the Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
   Grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter the 12 molds in a regular-sized muffin pan.

For the Streusel:
Put the flour; brown sugar and allspice in a small bowl and sift them through your fingers to blend.  Add the bits of cold butter and toss to coat, then use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until you’ve got irregularly shaped crumbs.  Set aside in the refrigerator for the moment.

For the Muffins:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour; sugar, baking powder, allspice and salt.  Stir in the brown sugar; making certain there are no lumps.  In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the melted butter; eggs, milk and vanilla extract together until well combined.  Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend.  Don’t worry about being thorough – the batter will be lumpy, and that’s just the way it should be.  Stir in the lemon zest.  Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Sprinkle some streusel over each muffin (about 1 1/2 tablespoons), then use your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a think knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.



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***A Few Notes***

  • I did use the lemon, and I’m glad I did.  They cut that earthy spice taste just enough to brighten the muffin.
  • I only used 4 tablespoons of butter in the streusel – otherwise I find it melts off of the muffins.
  • Both Drin and I agreed, we would love cranberries in these, or cinnamon chips.
  • Orange zest, in place of the lemon, would be nice, too.
  • I used paper liners.  I think these would be better without, however.

Lemon Zest


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