Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Peach Cobbler Muffins

When I was growing up, my grandpa had an orchard. I remember him growing apples, peaches, and cherries, and whenever we went to his house it seemed like there was always some kind of fruit that he had out, ready to share with us. I remember going out to the orchard during the summer and helping pick cherries, and eating them until my stomach hurt (he probably lost more money on the cherries we ate than he made from the ones that we picked and he was able to sell). I remember as summer faded away and fall approached, getting excited to see the boxes of apples and peaches and knowing that my mom would be canning them and we'd be eating them all winter long.

Although my grandpa's orchard has long since been turned into a housing development, I still find myself looking forward to the changing of the seasons and the delicious fruit that comes along with it. Luckily for me, the "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" and my dad shares his dad's love of growing fruit, and he has planted all sorts of fruit trees in his backyard. He keeps us well stocked with fresh, flavorful, homegrown fruit and we always look forward to going to his house to see what good things he has to send home with us that week.

The past couple of weeks, he's been sending us home with fresh, ripe, juicy peaches. My little 16-month old absolutely loves fresh peaches, and could easily eat at least one a day by herself, so we go through peaches fast around here. Last time he sent us some peaches, though, I was able to hide a few from my daughter and make these muffins, and I'm so glad I did! They were the perfect good-bye-to-summer and hello-to-fall food. They were moist, juicy, cinnamony. They captured the deliciousness of peach cobbler exactly, but in a portable, healthier, breakfast-approved way. The streusel is totally optional (if you want the muffins to be even healthier, feel free to omit it) but we loved it with the streusel on top. We all devoured these, and the neighbors that I shared them with also gave them rave reviews. These are definitely best the first day, so make sure you have someone to share them with, or cut the batch in half because it makes a lot. Either way, just make sure you make these while you can still get fresh, juicy peaches--you won't regret it!

Peach Cobbler Muffins
makes 24-28 muffins

wildly adapted from here

3 cups flour (I used half whole wheat and half regular)
1 Tb. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup oil
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups peeled, pitted, and diced chopped peaches

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper liners.

In large bowl mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In separate bowl mix the oil, applesauce, eggs, and sugar. Stir the oil mixture into the flour mixture just until moist. Stir in milk. Fold in the peaches. Spoon into prepared cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Top each muffin with 2 - 3 tsp. streusel (recipe below) and press down lightly with fingers to adhere the streusel to the muffin batter. Bake 20-25 minutes or until tops of muffins spring back when you touch them and toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean.

Streusel topping:
1/3 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces

Combine all ingredients with fingers, fork, or pastry blender until it resembles small crumbs. Use as directed above.

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