Warning: the following story is about crumb topping. And it goes no where. Read at your own risk.
When I was in high school we had this group called DECA; I wasn’t a member and to be honest I can’t remember what that stands for. But they had something to do with business… and they sold Otis Spunkmeyer products. Mostly cookies, but a lot of crumb topping muffins too. My friend Kyle got the blueberry muffins all the time. And I learned two things from Kyle while we were in high school together: 1. If the muffin doesn’t have crumb topping don’t even bother eating it, it’s not worth it. 2. When you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich you have to put peanut butter on both slices and then jelly in the middle. Otherwise by lunch time you will have that weird side were the jelly has seeped in to the bread; in a bad way.
For the most part, I think Kyle was right about both of these observations. Now, I’m not saying I would turn down a muffin just because it doesn’t have a crumb topping… but I am saying that if it does have a crumb topping then I am exponentially more like to eat it. If then. It’s a logic horse shoe thing (if you get that then you may have wasted as much time in college as me).
In high school I had no idea what crumb topping was, or how to make it for that matter. I was baking challenged. Way too busy wearing Air Walks and participating in student government (yeah, I’ve been cool for a long time). But now I totally get it: crumb topping is another way to add more butter and sugar to any muffin recipe. Genius!
Peach Cobbler Muffins, makes 12, adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook (if you haven’t checked out Joy’s cookbook yet you totally should)
For the muffins: 1 1/2 cups flour, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 1/3 cup milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 1/2 cup diced peach slices (I used frozen, then thawed ).
In a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl cream together the softened butter, egg, yolk, milk and extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, then stir in the peach slices. Spoon batter into a prepared baking pan.
For the crumb topping: 4 tablespoons cold butter, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash together using your clean hands until its… crumbly. Sprinkle over the muffin batter before baking. Bake at 350 F for 16-18 minutes.