Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The shelf on which you’ll be baking the mini-loaves should 1/3 up from the bottom. Using a bit of vegetable oil, grease a standard muffin tin.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, salt and spices listed for the muffins.
In a small bowl, work together the ingredients for the streusel topping using your fingertips until thoroughly mixed. It’s perfectly okay for there to be small bits of butter.
Warm the oil until it’s hot to the touch. I do this in my Pyrex 1-cup measure in the microwave on full power for a minute. If you don't have a microwave, you can skip this step.
In a large bowl, stir together the warm oil, molasses, brown sugar, cocoa and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the eggs. Beat vigorously until thick, glossy, and thoroughly combined. (Tip: If you measure the molasses in the same measuring cup that you used to measure the oil, the molasses will slide right out.)
Stir half of the pumpkin puree into the wet ingredients. Add half of the dry ingredients and stir to blend. Stir in the remaining pumpkin puree and the applesauce.
Add the remaining flour and the chopped nuts to the batter. Stir until combined, but do not overbeat.
Spoon into the muffin tin. The cups will be nearly full. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
Bake for 25 – 28 minutes. Check by touching the center of a muffin gently with your index finger. If it springs back up, the muffins are ready. If not, bake for another 2 – 3 minutes and check again. Remove from the oven, let cool in the tin for at least 5 minutes, and then gently remove to a cooling rack.
When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)