Right now, I’m done with school, and I’m unemployed! I’ve only had 11 days of freedom, so I’m still in the happy stage where I’m reading books (for pleasure, imagine that) and sleeping in until 8:00. I’m making my own schedule and enjoying menial tasks like organizing my bathroom cabinets. My new lease on life has caused me to look at the world through rose colored glasses. Everything is fun and happy because it’s not school! Yay vacuuming! Am I the only one who does this?
Soon I’ll get to the stir-crazy-panicky-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life stage. I’ll long for the complex rigidity and structure of a full schedule.
But for now…
I’ll take an hour to drink coffee and read through the Smitten Kitchen cookbook at 11:00 am on a Tuesday, bookmarking all the recipes I want to make. I basically should have just put a sticky note on every page.
Now that I have the time to blog more, I’ve gotten a little over ambitious about the load of recipes I’m able to accomplish in a day. Yesterday I had scheduled, peach and sour cream pancakes, caramel pistachio cookies, and a roasted baby root vegetable salad.
It sounded great the night before.
I woke up this morning and realized I was crazy. I do not have time to cook, photograph, edit, and write three blog posts, even if I am unemployed!
Plus, the inspiration I felt for those recipes had completely disappeared.
So, I made Peach Coffee Cake Muffins.
No they weren’t in the plan, but as I stared at my unused peaches and sour cream, seriously disliking the idea of making pancakes, the idea popped into my head. Peach muffins! I just had to figure out how to work sour cream into them? Coffee cake was the answer.
Old faithful, Cook’s Illustrated had a great coffee cake muffin recipe that I tweaked to make these golden brown streusel loaded muffins.
I’m happy I did.
You should make them too!
I also usually take more process photos. Yesterday I just couldn’t. The thought of washing butter and flour off of my hands a gazillion times to handle the camera in between every step filled me with dread. Instead, I whipped it up organically and had a lot of fun with the final product pictures.
I will tell you (and show you) I was worried that these muffins were going to be too crumbly to hold their shape in the muffin pan, so I did half with paper liners and half without.
The liners are a must!
Even after the “naked” cupcakes were completely cool, I couldn’t pry them out of the well greased pan without them falling apart. The texture is wonderful in all it’s crumby glory. It just needs a paper liner to hold it’s fragile self together.
I was surprised to learn that some of the streusel mix actually goes into the muffin dough. It’s part of what makes it so crumby.
Incidentally, the cinnamon and sugar in the streusel + the delicate crumb of the muffin kind of make these taste like baked cinnamon sugar donuts, with chunks of tart, fresh peaches.
You want to make some right now, don’t you?
Just be careful of the baking time. The recipe said 20 minutes and mine took almost thirty. In case my oven was off, check you early so they don’t burn!
PS I don’t think I’ve given up on the idea of pistachio caramel cookies just yet…
This recipes was adapted from Baking Illustrated
- ½ cup slivered almonds, finely chopped
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 tbl unsalted butter, chopped into ½ inch pieces and softened
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg (freshly ground preferred)
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 1 large or 2 small fresh peaches, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks. It should yield one cup of chopped fruit.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a standard size muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, mix together almonds, brown sugar, and ½ tsp of cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine on LOW speed flour, granulated sugar, and salt until combined.
- Sprinkle butter pieces over the flour mixture and process on low speed until butter is in pea sized chunks.
- Remove ½ cup worth of flour mixture and add to reserved almond mixture.
- Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Take ¾ cup of the almond mixture, which is the streusel, and reserve it to add to the dough later. Save the remaining ½ cup of streusel to sprinkle on top of muffins.
- Add to the flour mixture baking powder, baking soda, ½ tsp vanilla, and nutmeg.
- Mix on low speed until just combined. Don't be afraid to stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl at any time to help with even mixing.
- In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
- Add sour cream mixture to flour mixture and mix on medium speed until just combined.
- Transfer dough from stand-mixer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add reserved ¾ cup streusel and chopped peaches.
- Fold in gently until just combined.
- Grease a spoon (dough should be wet and sticky) and fill each muffin holder ¾ full.
- Sprinkle muffins with streusel.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating them once halfway through baking.
- Muffins are done when tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Best served warm.