Christmas Morning Eggnog Streusel Muffins from Cleo Coyle

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Marc and I always look forward to the flavors of the holiday season, including (and especially) eggnog. Tender and rich, these little muffins magically capture that beautiful, delicate flavor. They are superb paired with coffee, which makes them a lovely breakfast treat, a satisfying afternoon or late-night snack, and even a delight on serving trays during the holidays. From our hearts, we wish you peace, love, joy, and a very...


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Merry Christmas!  
☕ ~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

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A Note from Cleo

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
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Our readers may remember a version of this recipe from our Coffeehouse Mystery Holiday Buzz, a fun and festive read for the holiday season. Our amateur sleuth (coffeehouse manger Clare) finds a body after catering a glittering Christmas party and is quickly pulled into a case that once again puts her on the path to solving more than one New York mystery. 

To see more of the recipes we featured in Holiday Buzz, click here for the Free Recipe Guide.

To learn more
or download the Free
Recipe Guide, click here.
As for these delicious eggnog muffins, they are addictive. Frankly, Marc and I find it hard to stop eating them.

In this version of the recipe, you may notice I use the streusel mixture in two layers. The top layer, of course, creates a crunchy, sweet crown. The layer in the center is there for another reason--and not striation. Instead, it magically melts into the batter, keeping the muffin texture extra-tender during the high-heat baking (which is necessary for the proper rise). The nutmeg in the streusel mix also boosts the flavor, both inside and on top of the muffins. 

Now let's get to it: festive muffins for the feasting season. May you bake with love and eat with joy to the world! ~ Cleo




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Cleo Coyle's 
Eggnog Streusel Muffins

Makes 6 muffins

For the streusel topping

1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of baking powder
2-1/2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For the muffins

5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup white, granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten with fork
1/3 cup eggnog
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour, spoon into cup and level off

Step 1—Make the streusel: First preheat your oven to 375° F. Then mix up the streusel. (See directions at the end of this recipe.) Set the streusel into the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the batter.

Step 2—Mix batter: Using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter and two sugars in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg, eggnog, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla extract, and blend well. Finally, add the flour and mix only until a smooth, thick batter forms. (The flour should be completely incorporated into the batter, but do not over-mix at this stage or you'll develop the gluten in the flour and your muffins will be tough instead of tender.) 


Step 3—Prep for baking: Line 6 cups of a non-stick cupcake pan with paper liners. Place a dollop of the thick batter into each cup...


Sprinkle a light layer of streusel over each of the dollops. (This interior layer will melt into the cakes, keeping them moist and tender during the high-heat baking.)


Add the rest of the batter, dividing evenly among the 6 cups. Top the batter with the remaining streusel. 


Step 4—Bake and cool: Bake for 20 minutes in your well pre-heated 375° F. oven. Do not over-bake. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into a test muffin comes out clean of wet batter. Like all cookies and cakes, these muffins are delicate when hot and will fall apart if roughly handled. So please do allow them to cool a bit before handling and serving, and they’ll set up just fine. Then start that pot of coffee and get ready to eat with pure joy!








How to Make Streusel





Streusel is easy to make with or without a food processor. I'm sharing both methods below...

To prepare with a food processor: 

Place all streusel ingredients inside the food processor and pulse until you see coarse crumbs. Take care not to over-work the mixture. You do not want chunks of wet dough, just coarse crumbs. NOTE: If you over-process the topping into dough, all is not lost. You can correct the mistake by adding flour 1 tablespoon at time and pulsing until you see crumbs. Now set the streusel into the refrigerator to chill while you make the batter. FYI: You can store the finished streusel in a plastic container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.


To mix by hand: 

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, nutmeg and pinch of baking powder. Add the cubes of cold butter and using clean fingers squeeze and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture turns into coarse crumbs. Any large lumps should be worked on until the mixture resembles the coarse crumbs in my photos. NOTE: If you over-work the topping into dough, all is not lost. You can correct the mistake by working in more flour, 1 tablespoon at time, until you see crumbs. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill while you make the batter. FYI: You can store the finished streusel in a plastic container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.


Eat with joy to the world

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 


Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

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