Sweet maple walnut muffins with a streusel filling and maple glaze
It struck me that since I was so early giving you a July 4th treat, I had to jump the gun similarly for my Canadian friends for July 1st. So, here we are.
Canada has a special place in my heart. I’ve mentioned before how I spent my summers there with my grandparents, fun and fancy free, until I was around 16. They lived in a sleepy little Canadian town called Fort Erie, literally a hop across the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, NY. Each summer to commemorate both national holidays, the towns would throw a Friendship Festival in the park lands near the bridge and each year we’d camp out on some hill to watch the fireworks as they lit the skies for both sides to see. Those summers contain so many of my favorite childhood memories, and I can’t help but celebrate a little every July 1st, even though my family moved away more than ten years ago (God…the speed of time…).
I was a bit at a loss over what to make. While french fries would most definitely be heavily represented should I ever have to choose a last meal on death row (why have I thought about this?), the idea of poutine sounds like the grossest thing in the world to me. I wasn’t going to make that. After tossing out some ideas with my Canadian blog bud Allison, I settled on maple. Maple fudge, actually.
But muffins came to mind and I couldn’t shake the feeling that this is what had to happen.
Maple Walnut Muffins.
Let it be written, let it be done.
I am not a big muffin girl because the rational side of me knows that even the best of them aren’t really what I should be eating for breakfast on a regular basis. However, summers are for whimsy and this weekend muffins were party of that whimsy. I mixed up the boysenberry muffin recipe of yore, and added some touches from the coffee cake for good measure. To finish, some glaze for awesomeness.
Some ingredient notes: I used raw sugar simply because it was there, and I thought, “hey, cool I’ll use that.” I thought that it might give it a little extra crunch in the center. Don’t have raw sugar? Don’t sweat it- brown will be just dandy.
I wish I could say that the maple extract is optional but...it sort of isn’t if you want the full maple effect. I bought that last year for some pumpkin maple cupcakes and harbored a high dose of skepticism- extracts, some, taste gross and fake and I thought maple would be among them. I am proud to report that’s not so; this tastes like the real deal. All you need is a few drops. DROPS. I think 1/8 teaspoon will be too much. I used only 1/4 teaspoon in a whole batch of cream cheese frosting. So as much as you may heart maple, don’t overdo it.
And if you have extra glaze, add it to your coffee. I did, and I wasn’t mad about it.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 c plus 2 TB pure maple syrup
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 TB maple syrup
- 1 TB milk or cream
- 3-4 drops of pure maple extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a small bowl, mix together all the streusel ingredients. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar.
- In a liquid measuring cup, combine the syrup, eggs, vanilla, butter, milk and applesauce.
- Add the liquid to the solid and stir until combined. Stir in the walnuts.
- Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners. Add about 1 TB of batter to each one. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of streusel atop each. Add about 1 TB more batter until the muffin cups are 2/3 full and all the batter is gone. Sprinkle another 1/2 tsp of streusel on top of each muffin.
- Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
- While they are baking, make the glaze by putting all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking until smooth.
- Once the muffins are done, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
- Drizzle the glaze over the warm muffins and serve.
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