I know some people who will go ahead and toss a product that has reached its expiration date, regardless of whether or not it's still edible. This causes me great pain because in many cases, the food in question is perfectly fine and just as delicious and usable as the day it was made.
Take, for example, sour cream. Folks, it's sour cream--it's already soured. So until I see green stuff growing on it, I deem it acceptable for use. The same goes for yogurt and cheese. I don't shy away until mold rears its ugly head (although I clearly do my best not to let it reach that point!). Incidentally, the one exception for me is milk. When that expiration date is reached, I very tentatively sniff the stuff, and if I pick up even the slightest whiff of sourness, the stuff's not going anywhere near my cereal. Period.
Whether or not you subscribe to my way of thinking and whether or not your sour cream is fresh, these muffins are amazing. We can argue about many things (nature vs. nurture, Team Jacob or Team Edward, cats or dogs), but we can't disagree that individual portions of moist coffee cake topped with crunchy, sugary streusel is absolutely delicious.
I sincerely hope that your opinion of me hasn't diminished since you've learned of my reckless and devil-may-care ways with food. However, it's important to note this fact: I haven't been poisoned yet.
Knock on wood.
Spectacular Streusel-ized Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins
(based on these beauties)
1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Streusel: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. In a large bowl, mix the pecans with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, making sure to break up and incorporate all of the brown sugar. Stir in the butter. Set aside.
For the Muffins: Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin. In a mixer, combine the butter, lemon zest, and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg, and then the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl and beat on low speed until just combined.
Fill the prepared muffin cups with batter so they are about 1/3 full. Sprinkle a generous tablespoon of streusel over the batter in each cup. Divide the remaining batter among the cups, and sprinkle the muffins with the remaining streusel.
Bake, rotating the muffin tin halfway through, until the muffins spring back to the touch, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer the tin to a wire rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Turn out the muffins onto the rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.