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A Tale of Two Muffins

cinnamon-streuselThis little cinnamon streusel muffin with its melange of spicy-sweet crumbles was eaten greedily early in the morning. The sun had not risen, the sky remained a dusky shadow, and the track was untrammeled. After consuming the breakfast treat, we took to the trail and step by step the hours flew by, the miles continued, endless on the switchback path. The sun awoke, hid behind tall redwoods, then glowed like a furnace from the top of the granite dome. Wood chips crunched underfoot then gave way to loose scree. Eager steps slowed to hard-fought trudging while the landscape’s gentle rise and fall gave way to brutal incline. Through forest and up slope we plowed at Yosemite National Park until we reached the roaring waterfall. We stood on the top of a granular slab and let the cool mist of victory wash over us. The other little muffin came out of our packs to be devoured. Its concoction of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and brown sugar was ambrosial. Its softness of beaten flour, butter, and egg soothing. The flavor of our triumph tasted inimitable. Clearly, the latter baked good led a far, far better life than it could have imagined. Herein lies the tale of the two muffins.


Serves 4                Total Time: 40 minutes [20 minutes preparation; 20 minutes cooking]


Streusel Topping

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons melted butter

Cinnamon Vanilla Muffins

2 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/3 cup vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius). Coat the muffin pan lightly with oil, non-stick baking spray, or use individual paper muffin cups.

For the streusel:

1. Mix together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add in the melted butter and mash with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles.

For BT muffins:

1. In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.*

2. Make a crater-like depression in the center of the mixture. Into this depression, pour in the milk, butter, vanilla, beaten egg, and vegetable oil.

3. Stir the entire blend until the flour is no longer lumpy. Divide the batter into the recessed muffin pan or muffin cups, filling each cup two-thirds full. Sprinkle the prepared streusel topping mix evenly over each muffin.

4. Bake in the 400 degree Fahrenheit (204 degree Celsius) oven for 18-20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown in color. To ensure that the muffins are properly cooked through, insert a toothpick in the center of three different muffins and check if the toothpick comes out dry.

5. Serve the warm muffins with a garnish of apple jam.cinnamon-muffins

* BT Tip: Add 1 teaspoon of orange zest into the muffin batter for added aroma and flavor.

21 replies »

  1. Okay, the screen of my monitor is smeared and disgusting. I could not help myself. I tried as hard as I could to suck the flavor right out of your blog post. Oh, how heavenly! What I wouldn’t give for a taste of this delectable treat right now.
    This would be pure torture if it weren’t for the fact that I adored your description. So MFK Fisher.

    • 😂Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m overwhelmed by your comparison of my writing to MFK Fisher! Her prose was masterful and “Consider the Oyster” one of my all time favorites. 🙏🏻 Also OPL is inspiring us to find alternatives to the sugar and processed starch we put in to our recipes (and our food).

  2. You had me at “it’s muffin time!” But then– wow– your tale of two muffins was a far, far greater yarn than I could have anticipated. Fun read, and good looking recipe–I’m inspired

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