Pecan Crunch Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

I woke up this morning feeling content. Sometimes my anxieties come flooding in before my feet hit the floor. On good mornings, I don't let myself get out of bed until I've formed some intentions for the day--to be grateful and mindful, to be kind to the children, friends, or clients in my sphere. And today, one of my intentions was to bake.

I found this recipe on Foodgawker. Foodgakwer is a (favorite)  juried site where food bloggers can submit photos. (You can find In Praise of Leftovers gallery here.) I like searching for recipes on it because 1) All the thumbnail photos pop up and I can compare recipes 2) I'm exposed to great food blogs I didn't know about and 3) Going to the site is always a visual treat. I chose these for the crunchy topping. The kids downed two apiece and I took the rest to church. My friend Dawn was sitting across the table eating one and praised them. She said, "Wow, you just lit up! Nothing makes you happier than cooking for people." And she's right.

These are just what I want in a pumpkin muffin--heavy on the pumpkin, moist, sweet, and a crunchy streusel that elevates them above your average version.

Pecan Crunch Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 18. Adapted from Once Upon a Chef .
You can leave off the topping, but I think they'd be much less interesting. If you don't want nuts, you can sub old-fashioned oats for the nuts and still get a nice streusel.

For Topping
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup demerara sugar (raw cane sugar, also called turbinado)
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

For Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup  granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two standard muffin pans.

For Topping: Combine flour, butter, demerara sugar, chopped pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

For Muffins: Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix well. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars at low speed until just blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; continue beating at medium speed until very light and fluffy, a few minutes. Add pumpkin and beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Turn speed down to low and mix in flour mixture until just combined. Use an ice cream scoop to transfer batter to muffin pans, filling each muffin tin about ¾ full. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool on rack for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely (use a butter knife to lift them out of pan).