I’ve probably mentioned this before but I love muffins for breakfast in the mornings. Especially ones that are moist and not dried out and filled with yummy combinations of fruit (and of course I won’t turn down chocolate if it’s involved).
I was originally going to make these muffins using pumpkin but ran out of roasted pumpkin before I got to make these so I used butternut squash instead. It was a choice between the butternut and sweet potato, both being great choices. In fact, the next time I make these, I’ll probably use the sweet potato just to see how much it changes the taste.
Not being dried out is one of my biggest requirements for muffins. So many people overcook them to the point they become sawdust in the mouth and you need a gallon of milk to wash them down. While you want the toothpick to come out clean, there’s no need to leave the muffins in for a minute more after it does. The muffins are done and if they are a smidgen off, they do continue cooking for a couple of minutes after they come out of the oven and finally start to cool down.
The next need for my muffins are to have lots of flavor. Another big flaw in the world of muffins (besides being dry) is the lack of flavor. So many are dry and boring (hummm, sounds like some people I know. Oops, that’s me being snippy! Sorry. Back to the muffins!). I included lots of fruit and LOTS of spices in these, so if you aren’t an overly spice loving person just cut back a little on the amounts and make them for your spice levels.
The muffins turned out great. The spice combination makes these great with your morning cup of coffee, tea or milk and would also work great for the coming up holiday mornings because they just speak of the flavors used on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hubby gave them his seal of approval, along with two of the neighbors and several of his coworkers. But then again how can you go wrong with butternut squash, cranberries, spices and plenty of streusel for breakfast (or dessert).
Butternut & Cranberry Muffins with Pecan Streusel
1 cup all-purpose flour + 2 Tbsp., separated
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup skim milk
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup butternut squash purée
1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger or 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup chopped pecans
5 Tbsp/ olive oil
1/2 cup flour
candied ginger, optional
To make topping: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix together. The topping will appear as a dry, crumb-like mix. Set aside until needed.
To make muffins: Preheat oven to 375° F. Line muffin cups with muffin liners or grease thoroughly to prevent sticking.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and which together to mix thoroughly. In a second bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and the butternut squash purée.
Add the wet mixture to the dry one and mix until just combined. Do not over mix or it will toughen your muffins.
In another bowl, mix the cranberries and 2 tablespoons of flour to help prevent the berries from clumping. Fold the cranberries into the batter.
Pour the mix into the muffin pan, filling muffin cups about 2/3 full and sprinkle the tops with the streusel crumbs. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool.
Add candied ginger, optional, as decorations.
Makes 12 to 15 large muffins.
And who can resist more muffin recipes to try: