The berries at the market have been so sweet and juicy. I realized this week that I had over bought (if that's possible) and some were looking a bit sad. Instead of freezing them for summer smoothies, I decided they would sparkle and shine in these muffins for a breakfast treat.
What really makes these muffins explode with that sweet strawberry flavor is the addition of a little strawberry preserves swirled in the top of the muffin before baking. This is as trick that I learned from Cook's Illustrated a few years ago. The sour cream makes them moist but not gummy. The diced strawberries create pockets that burst with sweetness. The streusel topping adds another textural and taste dimension. The added bit of cinnamon in the streusel pairs perfectly with the strawberries.
The muffin recipe below is for 12 muffins, but it can easily be doubled. The streusel recipe makes enough for 4 batches of muffins, but you can easily halve it. I go ahead and make the whole batch of streusel and store the remaining portion in the refrigerator. That way when I have a muffin craving, I can pull out the pre-made streusel and proceed with the recipe.
Strawberry Streusel Muffins
makes 12 standard muffins
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
1 extra large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup small diced fresh strawberries
2 Tablespoons strawberry preserves, divided
3/4 cup streusel topping (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until the mixture comes together. The mixture will be more like a dough than a batter. Fold in the strawberries. Evenly fill the muffin tins (I use a 2-ounce ice cream scoop). Push 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry preserves into the center of each batter mound, pushing below the surface. Using a skewer, swirl the preserves through the batter using a figure-eight motion. Top each muffin with 1 tablespoon of the streusel topping. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins and cool completely. Enjoy!
makes 3 cups, enough for 4 batches of muffins
1 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients. Mix on medium speed until the butter is blended with the dry ingredients and the mixture has a crumb-like texture. Store any remaining streusel in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer for another use.
Source: Adapted from A Cache of Recipes by Laura Cole