Chamomile Apple Streusel Muffins
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1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup chamomile tea (see note)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 apple (preferably green and large), grated
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with pretty liners.
For the topping: In a medium bowl mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. With a folk, mash and mix in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
For the muffins: In a big bowl, stir to combine flour, sugars, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix egg, tea, vanilla and oil with a fork to break up the egg and homogenize the mixture a bit. Stir these liquids into the dry ingredients until just combined (don't overmix). Stir in grated apples.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full and generously sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake about 20 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out mostly clean. Let the pan of muffins cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes if you can wait that long.
Cook's notes: Chamomile is used in traditional medicine to soothe an upset stomach, so these muffins are particularly good on a post-party morning with a spot of tea and a good book or your morning paper.
To make chamomile tea: In a bowl or mug, pour 2 cups boiling water over 2 tablespoons chamomile flowers; cover and steep 5 minutes before drinking or straining and using in a recipe. Makes about 2 cups.
"Cooking with Flowers" by Miche Bacher (Quirk Books, 2013)
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