Tuesday, October 13, 2009

{TWD} Allspice Crumb Muffins

The Tuesdays With Dorie assignment this week was Allspice Crumb Muffins, chosen by Kayte of Grandma's Kitchen Table. I "met" Kayte pretty early in my TWD days, and I liked her immediately. How could I not? She's fun, kind, and truly interested in everything and everyone around her. What's more, we have a lot in common - we're nearly the same age and share interests, including cooking and baking for our families.

When the October TWD recipes were announced, Kayte explained her choice to me: "I figured you could use them for Muffin of the Month for 'Mom!' Tell her I picked them out just for her!" That's the kind of friend that Kayte is. She remembered that I had a project of baking muffins this year for my mother, and she picked this recipe partly so that my baking would serve double duty: TWD participation and m.o.m. all rolled into one!

What's even more amazing is that my mom has a million food sensitivities and allergies, and Kayte managed to choose a muffin recipe that fits within my mother's narrow range of acceptable ingredients! For a long time I'd had my eye on the allspice muffin page in Dorie's book and I was hoping that somebody would choose the recipe soon so that I could bake it for my mom. Leave it to Kayte to read my mind!

n.o.e.'s notes:

- I made 1 1/2 recipe: 1 dozen for my mother and half dozen for us.

- It's always fun to use my spice grinder (coffee bean grinder in disguise) - I ground whole allspice berries. It turned out with some rather large bits, so I put some sugar in with allspice and it ground finer.

- In a bid to reduce the saturated fat in the muffins, I reduced the quantity of butter in half. for the other half butter, I used part oil and part plain yogurt.

- For the crumb mixture, I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour but I later wished that I'd remembered to use oat flour. The crumbs tasted great - the allspice took the buttery sugary goodness to a whole new level. I would have been just as happy to stop after the crumbs and serve them in a bowl with a spoon. By the way, for my fellow crumb-topping lovers, Sarah of Blue Ridge Baker just posted some sbrisolona cookies that are in effect entirely made of crumb topping.

- I substituted white whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour in the muffins.

- The muffins rose nicely in the oven (well, they should, with 1 T baking powder!) and made lovely "muffin tops". They would have been very hard to get out of the pan - without ruining the crumb top - had I not used silicone muffin molds. As it was, even with pushing from below and loosening the best I could, large segments of the crumb tops spalled off while I was trying to release the muffins from the pan.

the verdict:

My husband sampled a muffin that was fairly fresh from the oven. His reaction: "Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. That's good, good, good!" And he added, "those are unconscious." (That's high praise in case you were wondering)

I loved the allspice in these, especially in the crumb topping. The muffins are simple, straightforward, delicious, and seasonal. I can see myself making them often in the cool-weather months, when warm spiced baked goods really hit the spot.

And Kayte, my mom liked them too!

You can find the recipe on Kayte's post or on pages 16-17 of Dorie Greenspan's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

30 comments:

pinkstripes said...

Not only were they tasty, they smelled wonderful too. These were great. Glad your Mom loved them.

Tracey said...

I absolutely loved the way these smelled as they baked too! I'm glad they were a hit with you guys as well as your mom. I was so happy to have a simple recipe this week - Kayte rocks! :)

Steph said...

I wish I had a spice grinder! The muffins look really good. I always love hearing about your healthy additions.

natalia said...

Ciao Nancy ! You are right these were a great recipe !! I was especially fond of their smell !!

mike said...

It smelled like the Holidays to me... unfortunately didn't taste like them. What a great post! It sounds like this muffin was THE best choice for everyone - especially mom! Learning about allspice was worth this week's bake! Nicely done on all fronts Nancy!

Romaine said...

Silicone muffin pans are on my shopping list. Also never thought about adding sugar to get a finer grind with your allspice. Inspired.

Leslie said...

I thought I did something wrong when I had to push mine out from the bottom. Your crumb topping is beautiful. I'm glad these were a hit at home and with your mom!

Di said...

I like the changes that you made for this one. I want to try these again with some sort of whole grain. I've had trouble with the tops spreading too much in the past, but this time I finally got them to cooperate.

Kayte said...

Looks really great on that silver tray...very impressed with that silver tray treatment. Thank you for all the lovely things you said about me...very nice and sweet of you. Happy to hear MOM liked them and happy to hear J did, too, although I was fairly certain J would like them! Our tastes run very similar usually. Thanks for baking up a storm with me always!

vibi said...

Madam is served... carried high on a silver plater, her muffin comes in, on the outside terrasse of the castle! LOL

Nicely done Nancy!

chocolatechic said...

Kayte is just precious.

We just loved these muffins.

Your picture wouldn't upload for me, so I don't know what yours look like, but I bet they are fabulous.

Eliana said...

Allspice has an interesting flavor. Used in the right quantities it's delish, especially in the Fall. Glad you mom liked these.

myfamousrecipe said...

Ah, you're wise to use a spice grinder. Because I only had whole allspice in the house, I spent the better part of a half hour grating them on my little microplane. It was something to see....

Kim said...

I bet the freshly ground allspice was amazing. I used what I had in the pantry and I'm thinking it was past its prime. I'll have to get some fresh allspice and give it another go. My husband loved these too.

Amber Marie said...

I love the m.o.m. idea! My mom also got some of these and loved them. I'm impressed you made them with fresh allspice!

Anne said...

I love the changes you made and will make not of them in my cook book. :)

I need to get a grinder now...

Karen said...

mmmm fresh allspice. I am glad you and your hubby liked these! Pretty picture!

Jess said...

These were great - mixing, baking, and eating. Glad you were able to share them with your mom!

Mary Ann said...

I actually copied your idea and subbed half of the butter in mine with yogurt. Didn't give you credit in my post, but there you have it!
So fun that you were able to take care of two baking responsibilities with one muffin. I love it when that happens!
They look perfect!

Carol Peterman said...

I love your M.O.M. project. How nice and what a bonus this week. Oat flour would be really nice in the crumb topping.

Jayne said...

I could have stopped at the streusel, too. It's my favorite part! These smelled heavenly - glad your mom liked them!

Heather B said...

I'm jealous...want a spice grinder! Great job on your muffins! they look delicious!

dharmagirl said...

yay! i'm so glad the muffins were a hit...i didn't make these this week, but plan on doing them soon.

and, i love the m.o.m project:)

jillbert said...

They look great! How perfect that these worked for your m.o.m. and that you and your husband both liked them. These were a great fall muffin.

margot said...

Your muffins look fantastic, and how cool that you didn't have to make any adjustments for your mom's food sensitivities. I appreciated your suggestions on the P&Q section. I pretty much always use yogurt, but I don't remember to use ww flour as much as I should.

TeaLady said...

Perfect pick for you and good all of us. Good muffins.

I use my magic bullet to 'grind' spices and that usually works. I had pieces of allspice that had to be tossed. Didn't think of adding sugar.

Muffins look delicious. Glad you and your mom liked them.

Linda said...

I hope your mom enjoyed the muffins.

Yours turned about beautifully, and I bet the aroma of freshly ground allspice as they were baking was amazing!!

Megan said...

It's quite obvious that your husband liked them, but what about your mother?

Seriously, these were good, even though I used cinnamon instead of allspice.

Pamela said...

You know, I almost thought that 1 tbsp of baking powder was a typo! Glad I didn't try to "fix" anything! I was so stunned by the way I behaved around these muffins. I would've eaten them all ASAP, but I did manage a smidgen of self control. Fabulous job, Nancy.

Sarah said...

So glad everyone - including your mom - loved these! I loved them, too. I have never ground allspice, but I'm sure the muffins were made even tastier by yours! Thanks for mentioning my sbrisolona!