I have a rule for myself these days - no junk food unless made from scratch ( except for Wavy Lays, of course). Whenever I get gas at the local pit stop, I linger at the cash register, looking at all the cellophane wrapped pastries and cakes, longing. No matter they are loaded with fat and preservatives, I still long for them.
My junk food habit began in ninth grade, when I was at boarding school. I had had candy before, but never little packets of chips and cheez curls, no Drake's coffee cakes that shed brownsugared bits down one's sweater. One bite into the fluffy tender crumbed cake and I was hooked.
I have been very good about staying away from temptation, but the other day I gave in to my longing . I made a few batches, tinkering with the recipe until it was perfectly junk food worthy.
(And yes, I ended up giving most of them away, virtuous me.) They're the ultimate blend of soft and tender insides, with the crunchy, sugary cascade of crumbs you remember.
I used Texas size muffin molds, which usually take two ice cream scoops of batter. Here, I filled them with one scoop of batter, then tumbled 2 heaping tablespoons of sugar topping over the batter. They rose nicely, without spilling all over the oven floor.
Preheat oven to 380F. ( my oven runs hot)
Grease one Texas size 6-muffin tin. This makes 5 large muffins.
First, make the topping.
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 T. softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup King Arthur flour
2 t. cinnamon
Place in mixer bowl and mix a few minutes. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
1 cup King Arthur flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
zest from about half a lemon
Mix dry ingredients briefly.
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 T. ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, large
1 t. vanilla
Mix until the dough is incorporated.
Using an ice cream scoop, place one scoop of batter per muffin cup. It should come up about halfway.
Sprinkle two heaping tablespoons all over each muffin.
Place in hot oven and bake 20 minutes.
Remove to cooling rack, then carefully remove from tin with a dull knife.
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