[CnD] I have a huge streusel problem

Alex Hall mehgcap at icloud.com
Sat Aug 1 19:05:11 EDT 2015


Hey all,
Yet again, I tried to make a streusel topping, this time for some baked pumpkin oatmeal. My sister made this recipe last week and it was perfect. I made the same recipe, following the same instructions, and the oatmeal was perfect. My topping, though, tasted like baked flour more than the brown sugar/cinnamon/butter mix it should have.

I've never once made a good streusel/crumb topping. I've tried with and without flour, I've used cold or melted butter, I've tried with and without oats, I've used different ratios… A streusel is supposed to have the consistency of gravel, with the sugars and spices surrounding small bits of butter (or clumped together with some flour, in the case of recipes using melted butter) Those small pieces then crisp up in the oven and provide a wonderful experience for the top of your oatmeal, coffee cake, muffins, whatever.. Mine is always either way too chunky; so fine that it melts in the oven; never crisps up; or (like today) tastes--and has the unpleasant texture--of flour. I don't know what else to do, and no one has been able to show me in person how to do this right. I'm to the point where i either ask someone else to make my topping, or make it myself, knowing it'll be anywhere between "tastes okay but doesn't have the texture of streusel" to "tastes like baked flour and has no spice flavor at all". It's incredibly frustrating, because other than this, I'm actually a good cook. For whatever reason, streusel-like toppings are the one thing I simply cannot master, though I've been trying for years.

My question, then, is simple: how do you all do it, particularly those of you for whom streusel works out well? I know it can be done by hand, because I've never seen a streusel that comes out tasting great be prepared in any kind of machine. I just don't know the procedure, and if I do, I'm messing it up somewhere along the way. Maybe I'm mixing too long? Not long enough? Working it too much? Is my butter too big? Should the cold butter warm up enough so I can mold it or not (I've been told both yes and no on that one)?. Thanks in advance.

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Have a great day,
Alex Hall
mehgcap at icloud.com



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