Monday, October 19, 2009

New York Style Crumb Cake Muffins

I had to make muffins for a school breakfast and I wanted to use my GIGANTOR EXTRA LARGE muffin pans because I am obsessed with them. I doubled the recipe and it made 12 muffins, Twelve GIGANTOR muffins.

Some notes:

-I made my cake flour with this info: I used two cups of regular flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour (then doubled it) and did the whole sifty cornstarch replacement thing.
-No buttermilk in the house so I used equal amounts of yogurt.
-Um. I didn't have enough eggs. But I made this anyway - I think I was short two yolks for the doubling of the recipe. Not sure if that really affected anything.

Recipe here from Cooks Illustrated:

Don't be tempted to substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour, as doing so will make a dry, tough muffin. If you can't find buttermilk, you can substitute an equal amount of plain, low-fat yogurt. When topping the muffins, take care to not push the crumbs into the batter. Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Crumb Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour (7 ounces)

1 1/4 cups cake flour (5 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. FOR THE TOPPING: Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. FOR THE MUFFINS: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan (cups have 1/2 cup capacity) with baking-cup liners.

3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.

Note - Mine was super fluffy!  Look!

4. Using 1/4-cup measure or ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among muffin cups; using small rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Following photos below, break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over batter (about 1/4 cup of crumbs per muffin), beginning with edges and then working toward center. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack at least 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

OK.  So - What I did not bank on was the cake part coming up through the crumb topping.  I was going for a true NY Style crumb cake which is about 2 inches of cake wearing about 6 inches of crumb as a hat.  The cake part came up through and made these kind of...well, ugly.  It might be because I tried to GIGANTORSIZE them or the lack or 2 egg yolks or yogurt instead of buttermilk.  Either way I took them out of the oven and was a tad disappointed:

They were all...tumory looking.  But it was a first try.  And I figured that I would bombard it with powdered sugar if need be.  Here is a single one looking all bumpy:

Not horrible but not exactly what I was looking for.  But - throw some sugar on it and no one will be able to tell:

See?  The reviews are in btw -   Charlie says it's more complex than regular coffee cake.  We both decided it is because of the whole wheat flour.  And the thing is dense as hell.  I might actually serve it cut in half with a scoop of vanilla in the middle.

I will try this again with all the right ingredients I think.  Hope the peeps at school like it.

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