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Sweet Potato Muffins w/ Bacon Pecan Streusel (Tackling Bittman)

So.  I know I teased you a bit by just showing you a picture of the best muffins I've ever eaten in my entire life (really!) when I reviewed The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman. I'm here to make up for that today.  These muffins are so many things. Perfectly sweet.  Alarming moist.  Impossibly good in best flavor bursting from a bite of a muffin that there ever was.  Do you really need a better argument than that?  Okay.  I'll top that.  Although I had yet to taste this glorious, easily portable package of bliss, I decided I wanted to add a streusel topping to it.  Oh yeah.  That streusel?  It has bacon in it.  That's right.  I said it.  I love to crumble bacon on my sweet potatoes...and then toss on some candied pecans for good measure, so I decided my muffins would get the same royal treatment.  Don't take my word for it, though.  Make some.  You won't be sorry.
Sweet Potato Muffins
adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman
yield: 12 muffins

2½ c. whole wheat flour, preferably pastry flour (I used 1¼ c. whole wheat flour & 1¼ c. bread flour)
¾ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ c. melted unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans
¼ c. vegetable oil I just doubled the melted butter...but in hindsight, I bet bacon fat would taste awesome here, too...especially if using my streusel on top! Trying that with my next batch.
1 c. pureed or mashed cooked sweet potato
1 egg, beaten
½ c. buttermilk

Heat oven to 375° F. Grease 12 muffin cups or add liners. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, soda, and salt. In another bowl. whisk together butter, oil (or other fat), sweet potato, egg, and buttermilk. Fold wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until just combined.  The dough was very thick, almost like I was making a scone or biscuit other words, not liquid.  Be careful not to overwork it here...just gently combine it all and scoop off twelve equal worked well that way.

Fill the muffin cups at least ¾ full. (Top w/ streusel if you wish...see recipe below).
 Bake until muffins are puffed and turning golden brown on top, 20-25 mins. Serve warm if possible.  But they're pretty darn excellent at room temperature, too!

Bacon Pecan Streusel

½ c. whole wheat flour
¼ c. brown sugar
½ tsp. ground ginger
4 Tbs. butter, room temp.
2 oz. pecans, chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

Mix flour, brown sugar and ginger in a bowl and cut in butter to form pea-sized crumbs. Toss in pecans and bacon. Distribute evenly over muffins.

*Don't forget, I'm hosting a special RoundUp Edition of Tackling Bittman this month, so send me your Bittman posts.  I will be accepting entries until Jan. 31...and drawing from all the entries to give one lucky Bitty fan a copy of The Food Matters Cookbook!  Click HERE for more details!

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