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Recipe: A little like sour cream coffee cake with streusel, these babka muffins will brighten your weekend

Makes 12

Part sour cream coffee cake, part chocolate babka, these muffins will brighten any weekend morning. Sour cream gives the batter a dense but moist crumb and a streusel of brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and chocolate chunks is reminiscent of the delectable chocolate swirl in a New York-style babka. More streusel goes on top (without the chocolate mixed in because it can burn as it bakes), which adds a little crunch to the first bites.

STREUSEL

¾ cup packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons flour
teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
¾ cup walnuts, finely chopped
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the butter and with your fingers, press it into the flour mixture until it forms small clumps. Stir in the walnuts.

2. Transfer a little less than half the streusel to a small bowl. Add the chocolate to this portion, which will be the inside streusel.

MUFFINS

Nonstick cooking spray (for the pan)
cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cups sour cream

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Place a paper liner in each cup of a 12-cup standard muffin pan. Lightly spray the muffin liners and the pan area around the cups with nonstick spray. (If not using paper liners, spray each muffin cup.)

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to blend them.

3. In an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

4. With the mixer set on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream in three additions. Take care not to overmix. The batter will be thick.

5. Spoon some batter into each of the muffin cups, filling them a little less than halfway. Sprinkle half of the chocolate streusel over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel. (It’s OK if the batter doesn’t completely reach the edges of each muffin cup.) Sprinkle the remaining streusel over the tops, pressing down gently so it adheres.

6. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into a few of the muffins comes out clean. Set the muffin pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Run a dull knife around the muffins and lift them from the pan. Place the muffins on the rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lisa Zwirn

Makes 12

Part sour cream coffee cake, part chocolate babka, these muffins will brighten any weekend morning. Sour cream gives the batter a dense but moist crumb and a streusel of brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and chocolate chunks is reminiscent of the delectable chocolate swirl in a New York-style babka. More streusel goes on top (without the chocolate mixed in because it can burn as it bakes), which adds a little crunch to the first bites.

STREUSEL

¾ cup packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons flour
teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
¾ cup walnuts, finely chopped
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the butter and with your fingers, press it into the flour mixture until it forms small clumps. Stir in the walnuts.

2. Transfer a little less than half the streusel to a small bowl. Add the chocolate to this portion, which will be the inside streusel.

MUFFINS

Nonstick cooking spray (for the pan)
cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cups sour cream

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Place a paper liner in each cup of a 12-cup standard muffin pan. Lightly spray the muffin liners and the pan area around the cups with nonstick spray. (If not using paper liners, spray each muffin cup.)

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to blend them.

3. In an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

4. With the mixer set on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream in three additions. Take care not to overmix. The batter will be thick.

5. Spoon some batter into each of the muffin cups, filling them a little less than halfway. Sprinkle half of the chocolate streusel over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel. (It’s OK if the batter doesn’t completely reach the edges of each muffin cup.) Sprinkle the remaining streusel over the tops, pressing down gently so it adheres.

6. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into a few of the muffins comes out clean. Set the muffin pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Run a dull knife around the muffins and lift them from the pan. Place the muffins on the rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.Lisa Zwirn