I treasure the early morning hours, especially on the weekends. Most people I know do whatever they can to squeeze in a extra hour or two of zzzzz's. I happily buck that trend, looking forward to the quiet pre-dawn hours on Saturday and Sunday. Once I get a humongous pot of coffee going, I dive into the pile magazines and books that accumulate on my my nightstand and leisurely read the morning paper (which is a rare treat for me).
Dorie Greenspan's Allspice Crumb Muffin was a delicious bonus to my early morning ritual. The prep work for this recipe was mercifully easy (I didn't even need to bring out a knife!), and for that minimal effort, I was rewarded with this yummy breakfast treat. To top it off, the house was filled that wonderful smell of something delicious baking in the oven.
This was the first time that I've made a recipe that calls for allspice to be front and center. I think I've been missing out, I loved the complex cinnamon-clove flavor of this spice. The muffin itself is very moist, and the streusel topping provides nice slightly crunchy texture contrast. The addition of lemon zest is an optional ingredient in the recipe, but I thought it provided essential flavor to complement the spice.