Neighborly Sweet Potato Muffins
These are luscious, with a cinnamon-spice-and-everything-nice caress and small hidden treasures of medjool date pieces and pecans. Picture-perfect for a fall brunch; dreamy served with really good coffee.
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly, or mild vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups cooked mashed sweet potato (about 1 medium-large sweet potato)
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup unbleached white flour
2 tablespoons oatmeal (rolled oats)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup pitted, chopped dates, preferably medjool
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with oil.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well. Set aside.
Now combine the wet ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking everything together.
Moving on to the streusel topping, cream the butter and brown sugar together in a small bowl, then add the flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste. Blend with your fingers to form a crumbly mixture. Set it aside, too.
Combine the add-ins in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of the dry mixture and toss well.
Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until not quite blended, then add the dates and pecans, with just a couple of strokes, so the mixture is just barely combined. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin. Divide the streusel evenly, sprinkling over the tops of the muffins.
Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly on a rack, then serve, warm.