NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., November, 2011—For me, nothing exudes comfort and coziness like pumpkins incorporated into an abundance of recipes this holiday season.
This pumpkin bread recipe baked in the form of muffins maintains just the right balance of sweetness with a glorious, crumbly topping thanks to a crunchy pine nut streusel that has just a touch of zing from a pinch of coarse salt. Chopped dried apricots stirred into the batter give this muffin the right amount of heartiness.
Bake up a batch of these lovelies to munch on with your morning cup of coffee!
Pumpkin apricot muffins with pine nut streusel
(Yields: 20 muffins or 2 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” loaf pans)
Pine nut streusel
1 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, large
1 can (15 oz or 1 3/4 c) pumpkin puree
1 cup dried apricots, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
For the streusel:
Put the pine nuts, sugars, flour, and kosher salt in a food processor. Pulse to chop the nuts. Slowly add the butter, pulsing until you have pea-sized pieces. Spread onto baking pan and bake slightly, about 15 minutes until just lightly browned. Put aside to cool. Once muffin batter is finished mixing, break up cooled streusel into small crumbles.
For the pumpkin batter:
Whisk dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and ground cloves. In a separate bowl, blend butter and sugars just until smooth. Add eggs and blend just until incorporated. Gradually mix in dry ingredients and apricots. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full with the batter. Top the batter with an even amount of streusel, pressing it just slightly to stick onto the batter.
Bake for about 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
Suzanna Hoang works as a pastry cook for Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif. She also fills in once a week for lunch and pantry duties. The talented Miss Hoang has been cooking there over two years for a total of five, including her culinary school education. Baking, arts and crafts are long time hobbies and led her to the kitchen. She also has a love for the written word and is developing her communication skills. Her goal is simply, “to just keep learning, learning, learning.”
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