Butterscotch Crumb Muffins

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Yield: about 16 large or 60 mini-muffins


  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco), cold and cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup butterscotch baking chips


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Position oven rack in center of the oven. Line muffin tins with papers or grease and flour muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and brown sugar until no lumps remain. Add shortening and cover with the flour/sugar mixture. Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to gently combine until the mix resembles coarse bread crumbs. (This may also be done in the food processor using a few short pulses of power. Do not let it run or the shortening will melt.)
  3. Reserve 1/2 cup of the flour/sugar mixture and set aside to use as the crumb topping.
  4. To the remaining flour/sugar mixture, add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Using a fork, combine well. Add buttermilk and beaten eggs. Using a large spoon, mix briskly until thick and batter takes on a sheen. Fold in butterscotch chips.
  5. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of reserved crumb topping mixture over the top of each muffin. Gently tamp down topping into batter.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tests done with a wooden pick.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.


For mini-muffins: Do not add butterscotch chips to batter before filling mini-muffin cups. Instead, fill cups 2/3 full, then gently press 3 butterscotch chips into each mini-muffin before adding crumb topping. Bake for about 14 minutes until edges are lightly browned.