Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

Some muffins are great because they're fast and fuss-free. You dump all the ingredients into one bowl, sling the pan in the oven, and before you can say "way better than a heavily processed toaster pastry," you're tossing hot buttered muffins to your kids as they're running out the door to catch the school bus. But these are not those muffins.

We like other muffins because they incorporate leaves and twigs and similar healthful ingredients intended to meet our nutritional needs and enable us to feel virtuous about scarfing muffins instead of less appealing fiber sources. But these are not those muffins either.
These muffins are the kind you bring out on your best tea-party china and serve on occasions that merit your breakfast A-game. In-laws coming for brunch for the first time? Yeah. Your mom/daughter/sister having a special birthday? Definitely. Someone order a romantic anniversary breakfast in bed? Oh, yes. These are those muffins.
Ruby red raspberries, mellow white chocolate, a hint of almond, and a buttery streusel crumb make these totally top-shelf. If you want to get bakery-fancy, give these a dusting of confectioner's sugar when they're completely cooled.

Raspberry White Chocolate Streusel Muffins

4 oz (1 stick) butter, at room temp
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
½ cup sour cream or Greek-style yogurt
½ cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
¼ cup white chocolate chips, roughly chopped

For streusel:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup oats
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 oz (6 tablespoons) cold butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

For streusel:
1. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and use pastry blender to cut in butter till crumbly. Set aside.
For muffins:
1. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add egg and continue beating. Combine milk, sour cream, and extracts in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.
2. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternating with wet ingredients until just combined.
3. Gently fold in raspberries and white chocolate chips.
4. Spray 12 standard or 6 jumbo muffin cups with nonstick pan spray. Divide batter among muffin cups, top with three quarters of the streusel. Use a butter knife to swirl streusel into muffin batter, sprinkle with remaining streusel.
5. Bake muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in center emerges without crumbs clinging to it. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes; carefully remove muffins from pan and let cool completely on rack. Store leftover muffins in refrigerator.

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