And so it begins. While the fall season hasn’t even started, pumpkin season is already in full swing. As soon as Labor Day passed this year, it seemed like everyone was eager to get the pumpkin season started. I decided to follow the trend and start enjoying pumpkin recipes a little bit earlier this year. I have a long list of pumpkin recipes that I am looking forward to trying. I still haven’t tried the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte that I always hear so much about, but perhaps I will this year.
I love that you can use pumpkin in a variety of recipes, from sweet to savory. For the first pumpkin recipe of the season, I decided to share my all-time favorite pumpkin muffins with brown sugar pecan streusel. They combine everything I love about muffins – slightly sweet, crunchy and filling. The pumpkin and spices add a unique seasonal flavor. I also like the muffins because they are the perfect breakfast treat to grab while you are on your way out the door.
The crunchy brown sugar pecan streusel topping is my favorite thing about these muffins.
5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 cup chopped pecans
For the muffins:
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tbsp. cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. nutmeg
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
To make the streusel, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. (If you prefer, you could also combine the dry ingredients and butter in a food processor and pulse to blend.) Stir in the pecans. Set aside.
To make the muffins, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Slowly fold in the flour mixture. Mix until ingredients are combined. Add ¾ cup of the streusel to the mixture and stir until the streusel is just distributed throughout the batter.
Divide batter among the muffin cups and top each muffin with remaining streusel. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.